Dual Antiplatelet Therapy: How Long Is Long Enough?

  • Laura Flannery
  • Ran Liu
  • Sammy ElmariahEmail author
Coronary Artery Disease (D Feldman and V Voudris, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Coronary Artery Disease


Purpose of review

The optimal duration of dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) has been a topic of considerable interest in recent years, as the risk of stent thrombosis has decreased with newer generation stents and the impact of significant bleeding events on clinical outcomes is increasingly apparent. The purpose of this review is to highlight the landmark studies examining short-duration (6 months or less) and extended-duration (greater than 12 months) DAPT as well as provide information about prediction tools to help guide individualized patient treatment decisions.

Recent findings

Short-duration DAPT is acceptably safe when clinically necessary, though recent trials demonstrate non-significant trends towards increased risk of ischemic events with shorter durations. Extended-duration DAPT clearly confers a reduced risk of subsequent ischemic events but at an increased risk of bleeding.


Understanding the perceived ischemic and bleeding risks for each individual patient is paramount in deciding targeted DAPT duration. For patients at a higher bleeding risk with a low ischemic risk, short-duration DAPT (6 months) is acceptable. For patients with continued ischemic risk factors and a low bleeding risk, extended-duration DAPT (up to 30 months) is recommended. The PRECISE DAPT and DAPT prediction tools are helpful in making this determination.


Dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) P2Y12 inhibitors Acute coronary syndrome Coronary artery disease Risk assessment 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

References and Recommended Reading

Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cardiology Division, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical SchoolMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA

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