To prevent recurrent ischaemic events, dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) is the standard of care after percutaneous coronary intervention and in the treatment of acute coronary syndrome. Recent evidence supports an adjusted DAPT duration in selected patients. The current paper aims to encourage cardiologists to actively search for patients benefiting from either shorter or prolonged duration DAPT and proposes an algorithm to identify patients who are likely to benefit from such an alternative strategy. Individualised DAPT duration should be considered in high-risk anatomic and/or clinical subgroups or in patients at increased haemorrhagic risk with low ischaemic risk. Both thrombotic and haemorrhagic risk should be assessed in all patients. In patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention, the interventional cardiologist could advise on the minimal duration of DAPT. However, in contrast to the minimum duration of DAPT for stent thrombosis prevention, longer duration DAPT is aimed at prevention of spontaneous myocardial infarction, and not at stent thrombosis, and thus the key to success is to treat the patient’s overall thrombotic risk. The advice on the duration of DAPT must be documented in the patient’s records and communicated with the treating physician and general practitioner. DAPT duration should be reassessed at least on a yearly basis.

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Netherlands Heart Journal
Department of Cardiology

ten Berg, J., Zwart, B. (B.), Hof, A.W.J. van 't, Liem, A., Waltenberger, J., de Winter, R., & Jukema, J. W. (2017). Optimal duration of dual antiplatelet therapy after percutaneous coronary intervention or after acute coronary syndrome. Netherlands Heart Journal (Vol. 25, pp. 655–663). doi:10.1007/s12471-017-1023-y