Clinical controversy regarding the most appropriate antithrombotic regimen after transcatheter aortic valve replacement remains. Current evidence, guidelines, and recommendations are discussed.
Antithrombotic selection following transcatheter aortic valve replacement depends on a variety of patient-specific factors. For patients without a preexisting indication for anticoagulation, initial trials employed dual antiplatelet therapy as the postprocedural therapy of choice. Newer studies in this patient population, however, suggest single antiplatelet therapy reduces bleeding events without sacrificing ischemic protection. In patients with a preexisting indication for anticoagulation, warfarin plus single antiplatelet therapy, as opposed to triple antithrombotic therapy, offered similar ischemic protection while reducing clinically significant bleeding. Warfarin monotherapy was associated with a further reduction in bleeding events. One trial demonstrated the safety and efficacy of using apixaban in patients with concomitant atrial fibrillation; however, routine use of rivaroxaban increased adverse cardiac and bleeding events, leaving the utility of direct-acting oral anticoagulants in question.
Available evidence and current guidelines point to a lack of consensus regarding antithrombotic selection after transcatheter aortic valve replacement. Patient-specific factors and comorbidities must be considered when tailoring therapy, with an emphasis on balancing thrombotic and bleeding risks.
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