Dual Antiplatelet Therapy Duration: A Review of Current Available Evidence

Ioannis Mastoris, Priyanka Maria Mathias, George D. Dangas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose Multiple regimens of antiplatelet and anticoagulation therapy have been used in the past in patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Later trials of PCI stenting demonstrated the efficacy of dual-antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) in reducing stent- and non-stent-related thrombotic events in this specific population. Nonetheless, the required duration of DAPT has not yet been elucidated. In this article we sought to identify various randomized clinical trials (RCTs), pooled analyses, meta-analyses, and data pertaining to the optimal duration of DAPT and attempt some recommendations based on patients' clinical and procedural profiles. Methods We performed an extensive search using MEDLINE, Scopus, Cochrane Library, and Internet sources for abstracts, manuscripts, and conference reports without any language or date restrictions. In our review we included all available evidence from RCTs, meta-analyses, observational studies, and abstracts pertaining to our topic. Search results that were deemed irrelevant or that would not serve the goal or topic of our review were excluded. Results Our search yielded 10 RCTs directly comparing different durations of DAPT, 3 meta-analyses amassing the evidence resulting from randomized data, and numerous observational studies that served the aim of our review. The observational studies included in the manuscript are directly related to instances in which RCTs could not be performed or introduce important concepts related to the duration of DAPT. Implications There is no conclusive evidence that determines the mandatory DAPT duration after PCI. In addition, there are distinct patient populations that need specific treatment regimens, such as diabetic patients or those on long-term oral anticoagulation. Therefore, clinical judgement and meticulous examination of all pertaining risk factors are required for each individual. These factors include those related to a patient's characteristics, treatment procedures, lesion complexity, and stent type. Currently ongoing studies are anticipated to further elucidate and integrate our understanding with regard to DAPT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)961-973
Number of pages13
JournalClinical Therapeutics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2016


  • DAPT duration
  • Key words dual antiplatelet therapy
  • percutaneous coronary intervention


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