A PDF of the full version of the article, published in Polish Archives of Internal Medicine, can be accessed free of charge here.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) and coronary artery disease (CAD) often present concomitantly. Given the increased risk of thrombotic complications with either of them but different pathogenesis of clot formation, combined antithrombotic therapy is necessary in patients developing acute coronary syndrome and/or undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Different antithrombotic regimens in this group of patients have been summarized and discussed earlier. Triple therapy remains the treatment of choice in these patients despite the increased risk of hemorrhagic complications. Given the absence of evidence from randomized controlled trials, balancing the risk of stroke and stent thrombosis against the risk of major bleeding is a challenge. Precise stroke and bleeding risk assessment is an essential part of the decision-making process regarding antithrombotic management.
Continuing the discussion of current concepts and concerns of antithrombotic management in AF patients undergoing PCI, we emphasize the importance of various strategies to reduce bleeding in the modern era, namely, radial access combined with careful selection of a P2Y12 receptor inhibitor, use of newer drug-eluting stents, and uninterrupted anticoagulation for patients undergoing procedures. We also focus on the role of the non-vitamin K oral anticoagulants (novel oral anticoagulants, eg, dabigatran, rivaroxaban, apixaban, and edoxaban), which are increasingly used for stroke prevention in AF. Finally, recent recommendations on the management of antithrombotic therapy in AF patients presenting with acute coronary syndrome and/or undergoing PCI as well as ongoing clinical trials and future directions are highlighted.