From WOEST to AUGUSTUS: a review of safety and efficacy of triple versus dual antithrombotic regimens in patients with atrial fibrillation requiring percutaneous coronary intervention for acute coronary syndrome

David W. Jones, Sheharyar Minhas, Joseph J. Fierro, Devarshi Ardeshna, Aranyak Rawal, Brandon Cave, Samarth P. Shah, Rami N. Khouzam


For patients with atrial fibrillation with concomitant acute coronary syndrome (ACS) requiring percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), the increased risk of bleeding associated with the use triple therapy is well established. However, there is question whether it is a necessary risk for patients to prevent stroke and stent thrombosis. The purpose of this article is to highlight the findings of prior studies evaluating the comparative safety and efficacy of dual and triple antithrombotic regimens in the subgroup of atrial fibrillation patients requiring PCI for ACS. Trials that evaluated dual versus triple antithrombotic therapy demonstrated post-PCI treatment with a P2Y12 inhibitor alone was safer than aspirin plus a P2Y12 inhibitor in patients also taking an anticoagulant for atrial fibrillation. Data regarding ischemic outcomes have not suggested harm with the omission of aspirin, but these studies have not been powered to assess efficacy outcomes, especially in ACS patients. These studies also demonstrate a significant reduction in bleeding events when aspirin is excluded from the post-PCI regimen in the ACS subgroup of atrial fibrillation patients. Further studies, with added focus on the ACS subgroup, are needed to potentially confirm that dual therapy may be as efficacious as triple therapy in ACS patients with atrial fibrillation.