The Particulars: Current guidelines recommend continuing dual antiplatelet therapy after PCI for 30 days for recipients of bare-metal stents, 1 year for those receiving drug-eluting stents, and 1 year for patients with acute coronary syndrome regardless of stent type received. However, research has not determined a precise optimal duration of dual antiplatelet therapy.

Data Breakdown: More than 5,000 patients participating in an international study were followed for 2 years following PCI. When compared with adherence to dual antiplatelet therapy, cessation within 1 year was associated with a higher incidence of spontaneous myocardial infarction (4.8% vs 1.4%), major bleeding (9.0% vs 1.0%), and major adverse cardiac events (11.0% vs 6.5%).

Take Home Pearl: Cessation of dual antiplatelet therapy within 1 year of PCI appears to be associated with increased risk of major adverse events when compared with adhering to these treatments.