Dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) – aspirin and clopidogrel – is recommended after transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) without an evidence base. The main aim of the study was to estimate the impact of antithrombotic therapy on early and late bleeding. Moreover, we assessed the impact of patients’ characteristics on early bleeding and the influence of bleeding on prognosis.
Material and methods
Between 2009 and 2011, 83 consecutive TAVI patients, age 81.1 ±7.2 years, were included. Bleeding complications were defined by the Valve Academic Research Consortium (VARC) scale. The median follow-up was 12 ±15.5 months (range: 1 to 23) and included 68 (81.9%) patients.
Early bleeding occurred in 51 (61.4%) patients. Vitamin K antagonists (VKA) pre-TAVI (p = 0.001) and VKA + clopidogrel early post-TAVI (p = 0.04) were the safest therapies; in comparison to the safest one, peri-procedural DAPT (p = 0.002; p = 0.05) or triple anticoagulant therapy (TAT) (p = 0.003, p = 0.05) increased the risk for early bleeding. Predictors for early bleeding were: clopidogrel pre-TAVI (OR: 4.43, 95% CI: 1.02–19.24, p = 0.04), preceding percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) (10.08, OR: 95% CI: 1.12–90.56, p = 0.04), anemia (OR: 4.00, 95% CI: 1.32–12.15, p = 0.01), age > 85 years (OR: 5.96, 95% CI: 1.47–24.13, p = 0.01), body mass index (BMI) (OR: 0.86, 95% CI: 0.74–0.99, p = 0.04). Late bleeding occurred in 35 patients (51.4%) on combined therapy, and none on VKA or clopidogrel monotherapy (p = 0.04). Bleeding complications did not worsen the survival.
This study seems to suggest that advanced age, BMI, and a history of anemia increased the risk for early bleeding after TAVI. Clopidogrel pre-TAVI should be avoided; therefore, time of preceding PCI should take into account discontinuation of clopidogrel in the pre-TAVI period. Vitamin K antagonists with clopidogrel seems to be the safest therapy in the early post-TAVI period, similarly as VKA/clopidogrel monotherapy in long-term prophylaxis.