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Circulation. 2012 Sep 4;126(10):1185-93. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.112.114967. Epub 2012 Aug 6.

Bleeding after initiation of multiple antithrombotic drugs, including triple therapy, in atrial fibrillation patients following myocardial infarction and coronary intervention: a nationwide cohort study.

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1
Department of Cardiology, Post 635, Copenhagen University Hospital Gentofte, Niels Andersens Vej 65, 2900 Hellerup, Denmark. mortenlamberts@gmail.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Uncertainty remains over optimal antithrombotic treatment of patients with atrial fibrillation presenting with myocardial infarction and/or undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention. We investigated the risk and time frame for bleeding following myocardial infarction/percutaneous coronary intervention in patients with atrial fibrillation according to antithrombotic treatment.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Patients with atrial fibrillation and admitted with myocardial infarction or for percutaneous coronary intervention between 2000 and 2009 (11 480 subjects, mean age 75.6 years [SD ±10.3], males 60.9%) were identified by individual level linkage of nationwide registries in Denmark. Fatal or nonfatal (requiring hospitalization) bleeding was determined according to antithrombotic treatment regimen: triple therapy (TT) with vitamin K antagonist (VKA)+aspirin+clopidogrel, VKA+antiplatelet, and dual antiplatelet therapy with aspirin+clopidogrel. We calculated crude incidence rates and adjusted hazard ratios by Cox regression models. Within 1 year, 728 bleeding events were recorded (6.3%); 79 were fatal (0.7%). Within 30 days, rates were 22.6, 20.3, and 14.3 bleeding events per 100 person-years for TT, VKA+antiplatelet, and dual antiplatelet therapy, respectively. Both early (within 90 days) and delayed (90-360 days) bleeding risk with TT exposure in relation to VKA+antiplatelet was increased; hazard ratio 1.47 (1.04;2.08) and 1.36 (0.95;1.95), respectively. No significant difference in thromboembolic risk was observed for TT versus VKA+antiplatelet; hazard ratio, 1.15 (0.95;1.40).

CONCLUSIONS:

High risk of bleeding is immediately evident with TT after myocardial infarction/percutaneous coronary intervention in patients with atrial fibrillation. A continually elevated risk associated with TT indicates no safe therapeutic window, and TT should only be prescribed after thorough bleeding risk assessment of patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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