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Chest. 2006 Dec;130(6):1823-7.

Anticoagulant and antiplatelet therapy use in patients with atrial fibrillation undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention: the need for consensus and a management guideline.

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Haemostasis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology Unit, University Department of Medicine, City Hospital, Dudley Road, Birmingham B18 7QH, UK.



There is a lack of published evidence on what is the optimal management strategy in anticoagulated patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (AF) who undergo percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and, hence, need antiplatelet therapy.


Review of cases of patients with nonvalvular AF undergoing PCI in our hospital, either as an elective case or following acute coronary syndrome (ACS).


By means of our local West Midlands Regional Health Authority computerized Hospital Activity Analysis register, we obtained a list of all patients seen at our hospital with a diagnosis of AF in association with ACS or PCI between 2000 and 2005. Patient clinical details and antithrombotic therapy management during PCI were recorded.


Of the drugs prescribed on discharge, aspirin and clopidogrel were prescribed to 25 patients (71.4%), while 6 patients (17.1%) were discharged receiving triple therapy, 2 patients (5.7%) receiving clopidogrel alone, and 2 patients (5.7%) receiving warfarin plus one antiplatelet drug (either aspirin or clopidogrel). There was wide variability in the antithrombotic regime and duration of treatment used by the four interventionists in our unit.


This case series reveals the lack of any coordinated strategy in the prevention of thrombotic or thromboembolic events in patients with AF and a recent PCI. Further large studies are required to assess the bleeding and thrombotic risk with various post-PCI strategies in order to facilitate the development of guidelines. Suggested management guidelines are made in this article.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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