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Antiplatelet therapy around CABG: the latest evidence.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The optimal antiplatelet strategy in patients after coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery is unclear. We review the evidence on the efficacy and safety of DAPT after CABG and discuss potential novel antiplatelet strategies that reduce the risk of bleeding without loss of efficacy.

RECENT FINDINGS: Adding the potent P2Y12 inhibitor ticagrelor to aspirin for 1 year after CABG is associated with a reduction in the risk of vein graft failure, at the expense of an increased risk of clinically important bleeding. Ticagrelor monotherapy is not associated with better efficacy than aspirin alone, but is not associated with increased bleeding risk.

SUMMARY: Dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) is recommended after acute coronary syndrome events, but aspirin as single antiplatelet therapy remains the cornerstone of antithrombotic therapy in stable ischemic heart disease because of a lack of solid evidence on the benefit of DAPT on clinical outcomes. Shorter duration DAPT, based on the pathophysiology of vein graft failure, may be a promising strategy that requires testing in adequately powered randomized trials.

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