Objective: There has been much debate regarding the optimal duration of dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) cover after drug eluting stent (DES) implantation. We aimed to assess the relative benefits of shorter and longer durations of DAPT coverage.
Methods: We performed a network meta-analysis (NMA) of all the randomized clinical trials (RCT) comparing different time durations of DAPT cover.
Results: We included 11 unique trials with a total of 33,458 patients; the longest duration of follow-up was 48 months and the shortest was 3 months. NMA results demonstrated that compared with 12 months, longer DAPT of 30 months reduced the hazard ratio (HR) of stent thrombosis (HR, 0.29; 95% CrI, 0.17–0.49). There was no difference in mortality between shorter and longer durations of DAPT except for 30 vs. 48 months (HR, 0.48; 95% CrI, 0.23–0.98). Compared with 12 months, longer DAPT of 30 months reduced the risk of myocardial infarction (HR, 0.47; 95% CrI, 0.37–0.61). Results also demonstrated that compared with 12 months, a shorter-term DAPT reduced the risk of major bleeding (6 months: HR, 0.53; 95% CrI, 0.29–0.98), whereas longer-term DAPT increased the risk of major bleeding (30 months: HR, 1.61; 95% CrI, 1.21–2.15).
Conclusion: As expected, bleeding was less in the shorter duration regimens, whereas the ischemic outcomes were better in the longer duration ones.