Dual therapy with oral anticoagulation and single antiplatelet agent versus monotherapy with oral anticoagulation alone in patients with atrial fibrillation and stable ischemic heart disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Background: In patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) and stable ischemic heart disease, recent guidelines recommend oral anticoagulant (OAC) monotherapy in preference to OAC + single antiplatelet agent (SAPT) dual therapy. However, these data are based on the results of only two randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and a relatively small group of patients. Thus, the safety and efficacy of this approach may be underpowered to detect a significant difference. We hypothesized that OAC monotherapy will have a reduced risk of bleeding, but similar all-cause mortality and ischemic outcomes as compared to dual therapy (OAC + SAPT).
Methods: A systematic search of PubMed/MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Scopus was conducted. Safety outcomes included total bleeding, major bleeding, and others. Efficacy outcomes included all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality, myocardial infarction, stroke, and major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE). RCTs and observational studies were pooled separately (study design stratified meta-analysis). Subgroup analyses were performed for vitamin K antagonists and direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs). Pooled risk ratios (RR) with corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated using the Mantel-Haenszel method.
Results: Meta-analysis of 2 RCTs comprising a total of 2905 patients showed that dual therapy (OAC + SAPT) vs. OAC monotherapy was associated with a statistically significant increase in major bleeding (RR 1.51; 95% CI [1.10, 2.06]). There was no significant reduction in MACE (RR 1.10; [0.71, 1.72]), stroke (RR 1.29; [0.85, 1.95]), myocardial infarction (RR 0.57; [0.28, 1.16]), cardiovascular mortality (RR 1.22; [0.63, 2.35]), or all-cause mortality (RR 1.18 [0.52, 2.68]). Meta-analysis of 20 observational studies comprising 47,451 patients showed that dual therapy (OAC + SAPT) vs. OAC monotherapy was associated with a statistically significant higher total bleeding (RR 1.50; [1.20, 1.88]), major bleeding (RR = 1.49; [1.38, 1.61]), gastrointestinal bleeding (RR = 1.62; [1.15, 2.28]), and myocardial infarction (RR = 1.15; [1.05, 1.26]), without significantly lower MACE (RR 1.10; [0.97, 1.24]), stroke (RR 0.93; [0.73, 1.19]), cardiovascular mortality (RR 1.11; [0.95, 1.29]), or all-cause mortality (RR 0.93; [0.78, 1.11]). Subgroup analysis showed similar results for both vitamin K antagonists and DOACs, except a statistically significant higher intracranial bleeding with vitamin K antagonist + SAPT vs. vitamin K antagonist monotherapy (RR 1.89; [1.36-2.63]).
Conclusions: In patients with AF and stable ischemic heart disease, OAC + SAPT as compared to OAC monotherapy is associated with a significant increase in bleeding events without a significant reduction in thrombotic events, cardiovascular mortality, and all-cause mortality.
Keywords: Anticoagulation; Antiplatelet; Atrial fibrillation; Coronary artery disease; Stable ischemic heart disease.
Shakir A, Khan A, Agarwal S, Clifton S, Reese J, Munir MB, Nasir UB, Khan SU, Gopinathannair R, DeSimone CV, Deshmukh A, Jackman WM, Stavrakis S, Asad ZUA. Dual therapy with oral anticoagulation and single antiplatelet agent versus monotherapy with oral anticoagulation alone in patients with atrial fibrillation and stable ischemic heart disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Interv Card Electrophysiol. 2022 Sep 9. doi: 10.1007/s10840-022-01347-1. Epub ahead of print.