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Antithrombotic treatment following percutaneous coronary intervention in patients with high bleeding risk.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Review the clinical outcomes of different antithrombotic strategies in patients with high bleeding risk (HBR) after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).

RECENT FINDINGS: Patients with HBR after PCI include those with advanced age (e.g. >75 years of age), a prior history of major bleeding, anemia, chronic kidney disease, and those with indications for long-term anticoagulation. Strategies that successfully decrease bleeding risk in this population include shorter durations of dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT; of 1-3 months) followed by single antiplatelet therapy with aspirin or a P2Y 12 inhibitor, or de-escalating from a more potent P2Y 12 inhibitor (prasugrel or ticagrelor) to less potent antiplatelet regimens (aspirin with clopidogrel or half-dose ticagrelor or half-dose prasugrel). Patients on DAPT, and a full dose anticoagulation for other indications, have a lower risk of major bleeding without an increase in 1-2-year adverse ischemic events, when rapidly switched from DAPT to a single antiplatelet therapy (within a week after PCI) with aspirin or clopidogrel. Longer term data on the benefits and risks of these strategies is lacking.

SUMMARY: In patients with HBR after PCI, shorter durations of DAPT (1-3 months) decrease the risk of major bleeding without increasing the risk of adverse ischemic events.

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