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Semin Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth. 2010 Dec;14(4):256-73. doi: 10.1177/1089253210386244. Epub 2010 Nov 7.

The management of antiplatelet therapy in patients with coronary stents undergoing noncardiac surgery.

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  • 1Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA.


Whereas the development of coronary stents has been a major breakthrough in the treatment of coronary artery disease, stent thrombosis, associated with myocardial infarction and death, has introduced a new challenge in the care of patients with coronary stents undergoing noncardiac surgery. This review presents the authors' recommendations regarding the optimal management of such patients. Elective surgery should be postponed for at least 6 weeks and optimally 3 months for a bare-metal stent and at least 1 year for a drug-eluting stent. On the other hand, managing a patient undergoing non-elective surgery is more difficult and necessitates a case-by-case assessment of bleeding risk versus thrombotic risk based on patient comorbidities, type of stents present, details of the coronary intervention, and type of surgical procedure. Patients with a risk of bleeding that outweighs the risk of stent thrombosis should discontinue at least clopidogrel, whereas all other patients should continue dual antiplatelet therapy throughout the perioperative period.

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