Guidelines recommend oral anticoagulant (OAC) monotherapy without antiplatelet therapy (APT) in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (AF) with stable coronary artery disease (CAD) of >1 year after myocardial infarction or percutaneous coronary intervention. More evidences are required for the safety and efficacy of OAC monotherapy compared with OAC plus APT. PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews were systematically searched up to February 2019. Nonrandomized studies and randomized clinical trials comparing OAC monotherapy with OAC plus single APT (SAPT) for patients with stable CAD and nonvalvular AF. The primary end point was major adverse cardiovascular events (composite of ischemic or thrombotic events) and secondary outcomes included major bleeding, stroke, all-cause death, and net adverse events (composite of ischemic, thrombotic, or bleeding events). From 6 trials, 8,855 patients were included. There was no significant difference in major adverse cardiovascular event in patients with AF treated using OAC plus SAPT compared with those treated with OAC monotherapy (hazard ratio [HR] 1.09; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.92 to 1.29). OAC plus SAPT was associated with a significantly higher risk of major bleeding compared with OAC monotherapy (HR 1.61; 95% CI 1.38 to 1.87), as well as in terms of net adverse event (HR 1.21; 95% CI 1.02 to 1.43). There were no significant differences in rates of stroke and all-cause death. In conclusion, in this meta-analysis, OAC monotherapy and OAC plus SAPT treatment showed similar effectiveness, but OAC monotherapy was significantly associated with a lower risk of bleeding compared with OAC plus SAPT in patients with nonvalvular AF and stable CAD.
This study has limited validity because of its observational nature and the strong potential for confounding.
Well executed meta-anlaysis confirming the lack of need for an antiplatelet agent in anticoagulated patients for secondary prevention of CHD > 1 year after last ACS. It's an important basis to reduce common overuse of combined AC and AP (dual antithrombotic) therapy.