Drug-eluting stents (DES) are highly effective in reducing restenosis but have a small but significant risk for late stent thrombosis (LAST). Cessation of antiplatelet drugs for noncardiac surgery has been implicated in precipitating LAST, prompting surgery to be done on antiplatelet therapy, with all the attendant bleeding risks, or deferred until 12 months after DES implantation, despite limited data defining the risk for LAST. Using billing data from 2 large health funds, members who had DES insertion (n = 9,321) with subsequent noncardiac surgery (n = 4,126) were mailed a questionnaire regarding their noncardiac procedures, antiplatelet use, and subsequent coronary events. From 1,086 returned, 710 were suitable for inclusion, identifying 11 patients (1.5%) with perioperative myocardial infarctions confirmed by medical records. Angiography showed that only 2 had stent thromboses, while 7 had new culprit lesion (2 patients did not undergo angiography). Before their noncoronary procedures, 66% were receiving dual-antiplatelet therapy, and 30% were taking single agents. Surgery was performed on dual therapy in 18%, on single agents in 23%, and with no antiplatelet therapy in 59%. The mean time to surgery from stent implantation was 348 days, with 56% <12 months. In conclusion, noncardiac surgery after DES implantation is frequent and appears to have low cardiac morbidity despite variable antiplatelet cessation. Perioperative myocardial infarctions occur because of narrowings in nonstented coronary arteries rather than from LASTs.
Chia, K. K. M., Park, J. J., Postle, J., Cottrill, A., & Ward, M. R. (2010). Frequency of late drug-eluting stent thrombosis with non-cardiac surgery. American Journal of Cardiology, 106(1), 1-3. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amjcard.2010.02.006