Dual Anti-Thrombotic Treatment With Direct Anticoagulants Improves Clinical Outcomes in Patients With Atrial Fibrillation With ACS or Undergoing PCI. A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Background

There is recent new evidence regarding the combined use of direct oral antiocoagulants and antiplatelet agents in patients with Atrial Fibrillation undergoing PCI.

Purpose

To compare the efficacy of dual antithrombotic treatment (DAT) including a direct oral anticoagulant (DOAC) and an antiplatelet agent versus triple antithrombotic treatment (TAT) with a vitamin K antagonist (VKA).

Data sources

PubMed, SCOPUS and Google Scholar from through 09/09/2019; references of eligible studies; relevant scientific sessions abstracts and cardiology websites.

Study selection

Randomized controlled trials that compared DAT including a DOAC with TAT including a VKA and that reported at least the rates of stroke, Stent thrombosis and bleeding.

Data extraction

Two investigators independently extracted study data and assessed study quality.

Data synthesis

Four randomized trials that compared DAT including a DOAC with TAT including a VKA were available. Among these, one trial included two independent treatment arms with different DOAC dose, both compared against TAT. For this reason, the two arms were treated independently, resulting in 5 randomized comparisons available for meta-analysis, with a total of 8654 patients involved. The primary safety endpoint was significantly lower in the DAT arm (14.4%) compared to the TAT arm (23%) (RD = -0.08; p<0.001). In addition, we found no significant difference in the incidence of stroke between the treatment arms (p = 0.23). Similarly, no significant difference in the incidence of Stent Thrombosis between the treatment arms (p = 0.08).

Limitations

All trials included were open-label, even though data were blindly analyzed. Qualifying criteria are heterogeneous.

Conclusions

Compared TAT including a VKA, a therapeutic DAT regimen including a DOAC was associated with a significant reduction of the primary safety endpoint in AF patients undergoing PCI with stent implantation for an ACS or chronic coronary syndrome, while no significant difference was found in the rate of ischemic adverse events, including stroke, acute myocardial infarction or stent thrombosis.