Letters To The Editor

In reply: Perioperative interruption of dual antiplatelet therapy

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In Reply: We reported on publications from 2016–2017 and, unfortunately, at the time we were writing our paper, the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) update on dual antiplatelet therapy 1 had not yet been published. We presented the recommendations from the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and American Heart Association (AHA), 2 which differ from the recently published ESC guidelines. The ESC suggests that the minimum waiting period after drug-eluting stent placement before noncardiac surgery should be 1 month rather than 3 months but acknowledges that in the setting of complex stenting or recent acute coronary syndrome, 6 months is preferred. The recommendation in this latter scenario is a class IIb C recommendation—essentially expert consensus opinion.

Further, in the study by Egholm et al, 3 the event rates in patients undergoing noncardiac surgery in the 1- to 2-month period were numerically higher than in the control group, and no adjusted odds ratios were given. The numbers of events were very low, and a change of only 1 or 2 events in the other direction in the groups would likely make it statistically significant.

All of these recommendations are based on observational studies and registry data, as there are no randomized controlled trials to address this issue. There are many complexities to be accounted for including the type of stent, timing, circumstances surrounding stenting, anatomy, number of stents, patient comorbidities (particularly age, diabetes mellitus, cardiac disease), type of surgery and anesthesia, and perioperative management of antiplatelet therapy. While we acknowledge the ESC recommendation, we would urge caution in the recommendation to wait only 1 month, and in the United States most would prefer to wait 3 months if possible.

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