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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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Department of Cardiology, Post 635, Copenhagen University Hospital Gentofte, Niels Andersens Vej 65, 2900 Hellerup, Denmark.



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.


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).


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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