News | Antiplatelet and Anticoagulation Therapies | September 08, 2015

Study Results Suggest Extending Post-Stenting DAPT Beyond One Year

While French research does not prove superiority of extended dual antiplatelet therapy over aspirin alone, benefits still apparent

September 8, 2015 — Extending clot-preventing dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) beyond the recommended 12 months after coronary stenting “should be considered” in patients at low risk for bleeding, investigators for the OPTIDUAL trial recommend. Results of the trial were presented at a Hot Line session at the 2015 European Society of Cardiology (ESC) congress.

While the investigator-initiated study showed that DAPT (a combination of aspirin and the P2Y12-receptor blocker clopidogrel) does not decrease the rate of major adverse cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events (MACCE), there was nevertheless a hint that it might reduce ischemic outcomes without excess bleeding.

“Given the lack of harm and the signal for benefit of prolonged DAPT in the OPTIDUAL trial, and the results from prior randomized trials testing long durations of DAPT, prolongation of DAPT beyond 12 months should be considered in patients without high-risk bleeding, who have received a drug-eluting coronary stent and are event-free at 12 months,” said principal investigator Gérard Helft, M.D., Ph.D., from the Institut de Cardiologie, Hôpital Pitié-Salpétrière, in Paris, France.

The study included 1,385 patients from 58 French sites who had undergone percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) with placement of at least one drug-eluting stent (DES) for either stable coronary artery disease or acute coronary syndrome.

All patients had been on DAPT for one year and were randomly assigned to continue or to remain on aspirin alone for an additional 36 months. The study found no statistical difference between the groups for the primary MACCE endpoint — a composite of all-cause death, myocardial infarction, stroke and major bleeding (5.8 percent in the extended-DAPT group and 7.5 percent in the aspirin-only group, P=0.17).

Rates of death were 2.3 percent in the extended-DAPT group and 3.5 percent in the aspirin group (P=0.18).

However, there was a borderline but non-statistically significant reduction in ischemic outcomes (a post-hoc outcome composite rate of death, myocardial infarction or stroke) with extended DAPT (4.2 percent in the extended-DAPT group and 6.4 percent in the aspirin group (hazard ratio [HR] 0.64, 95 percent CI 0.40–1.02, P=0.06) without increased bleeding (2 percent in both groups, P=0.95) or increased all-cause mortality.

The OPTIDUAL trial was designed as a superiority trial, and while it failed to show superiority for extended DAPT, “the results are consistent with the recent findings on ischemic outcomes from the DAPT trial regarding the value of prolonging DAPT after DES placement,” said Helft.

“There was no apparent harm, and the post hoc efficacy signal on MACCE is consistent with the benefit seen in the DAPT trial. Thus, OPTIDUAL adds to the evidence suggesting benefit to extended DAPT after DES in patients who are event free at 12 months.”

Helft commented that the optimal duration of dual antiplatelet therapy after PCI with drug-eluting stent “is one of the hottest topics in interventional cardiology. The use of DAPT is critically important for the prevention of coronary stent thrombosis, but the optimal duration remains highly debated. This is a major clinical issue, given the large number of patients treated with DES, the costs and risks of antiplatelet therapy, the potentially life-threatening consequences of stent thrombosis and the potential benefits of antiplatelet therapy in preventing ischemic outcomes beyond stent thrombosis.”

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