Syst Rev. 2023 Oct 14;12(1):197. doi: 10.1186/s13643-023-02360-9.
BACKGROUND: Antiplatelet agents are central in the management of vascular disease. The use of dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) for the management of thromboembolic complications must be weighed against bleeding risk in the perioperative setting. This balance is critical in patients undergoing cardiac or non-cardiac surgery. The management of patients on DAPT for any indication (including stents) is not clear and there is limited evidence to guide decision-making. This review summarizes current evidence since 2015 regarding the occurrence of major adverse events associated with continuing, suspending, or varying DAPT in the perioperative period.
METHODS: A research librarian searched PubMed and Cochrane from November 30, 2015 to May 17, 2022, for relevant terms regarding adult patients on DAPT for any reason undergoing surgery, with a perioperative variation in DAPT strategy. Outcomes of interest included the occurrence of major adverse cardiac events, major adverse limb events, all-cause death, major bleeding, and reoperation. We considered withdrawal or discontinuation of DAPT as stopping either aspirin or a P2Y12 inhibitor or both agents; continuation of DAPT indicates that both drugs were given in the specified timeframe.
RESULTS: Eighteen observational studies met the inclusion criteria. No RCTs were identified, and no studies were judged to be at low risk of bias. Twelve studies reported on CABG. Withholding DAPT therapy for more than 2 days was associated with less blood loss and a slight trend favoring less transfusion and surgical re-exploration. Among five observational CABG studies, there were no statistically significant differences in patient death across DAPT management strategies. Few studies reported cardiac outcomes. The remaining studies, which were about procedures other than exclusively CABG, demonstrated mixed findings with respect to DAPT strategy, bleeding, and ischemic outcomes.
CONCLUSION: The evidence base on the benefits and risks of different perioperative DAPT strategies for patients with stents is extremely limited. The strongest signal, which was still judged as low certainty evidence, is that suspension of DAPT for greater than 2 days prior to CABG surgery is associated with less bleeding, transfusions, and re-explorations. Different DAPT strategies’ association with other outcomes of interest, such as MACE, remains uncertain.
SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION: A preregistered protocol for this review can be found on the PROSPERO International Prospective Register of systematic reviews ( http://www.crd.york.ac.uk/PROSPERO/ ; registration number: CRD42022371032).