BACKGROUND: Complex percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is associated with higher ischemic risk, which can be mitigated by long-term dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT). However, concomitant high bleeding risk (HBR) may be present, making it unclear whether short- or long-term DAPT should be prioritized.
OBJECTIVES: This study investigated the effects of ischemic (by PCI complexity) and bleeding (by PRECISE-DAPT [PREdicting bleeding Complications in patients undergoing stent Implantation and SubsequEnt Dual AntiPlatelet Therapy] score) risks on clinical outcomes and on the impact of DAPT duration after coronary stenting.
METHODS: Complex PCI was defined as =3 stents implanted and/or =3 lesions treated, bifurcation stenting and/or stent length >60 mm, and/or chronic total occlusion revascularization. Ischemic and bleeding outcomes in high (=25) or non-high (<25) PRECISE-DAPT strata were evaluated based on randomly allocated duration of DAPT.
RESULTS: Among 14,963 patients from 8 randomized trials, 3,118 underwent complex PCI and experienced a higher rate of ischemic, but not bleeding, events. Long-term DAPT in non-HBR patients reduced ischemic events in both complex (absolute risk difference: -3.86%; 95% confidence interval: -7.71 to +0.06) and noncomplex PCI strata (absolute risk difference: -1.14%; 95% confidence interval: -2.26 to -0.02), but not among HBR patients, regardless of complex PCI features. The bleeding risk according to the Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction scale was increased by long-term DAPT only in HBR patients, regardless of PCI complexity.
CONCLUSIONS: Patients who underwent complex PCI had a higher risk of ischemic events, but benefitted from long-term DAPT only if HBR features were not present. These data suggested that when concordant, bleeding, more than ischemic risk, should inform decision-making on the duration of DAPT.