Dual antiplatelet therapy with aspirin and clopidogrel: what is the risk in noncardiac surgery? A narrative review.

Link to article at PubMed

Dual antiplatelet therapy with aspirin and clopidogrel: what is the risk in noncardiac surgery? A narrative review.

Hosp Pract (Minneap). 2013 Feb;41(1):79-88

Authors: Finkel JB, Marhefka GD, Weitz HH

Clopidogrel is one of the most commonly prescribed medications and is currently recommended along with aspirin as treatment to be used for 1 year in all patients without contraindications following an acute coronary syndrome. Patients who are committed to clopidogrel therapy due to recent coronary artery stent implantation may require noncardiac surgery during this recommended period of dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT). Due to differing rates of endothelialization, patients who undergo bare-metal stent implantation generally require ≥ 1 month of uninterrupted DAPT, and those who undergo drug-eluting stent implantation require ≥ 12 months. Many surgeons ask their patients to stop taking clopidogrel in advance of their procedure to decrease perioperative bleeding. This practice is based largely on anecdotal experience and extrapolated from limited data in cardiac surgery. Premature cessation of aspirin and/or clopidogrel following coronary artery stenting, however, has been associated with acute stent thrombosis, myocardial infarction, and death. We searched PubMed for English language articles published from 1960 to 2012, using the keywords aspirin, clopidogrel, surgery, general, vascular, genitourinary, thoracic, orthopedic, ophthalmologic, dermatologic, endoscopy, colonoscopy, cardiac device implantation, pacemaker, defibrillator, bronchoscopy, bridging, bleeding complications, and transfusion, including various combinations. s were reviewed to confirm relevance, and then the full articles were extracted. References from extracted articles were also reviewed for relevant articles. Literature regarding perioperative clopidogrel continuation is predominantly composed of small, nonrandomized data, but suggests that most noncardiac surgeries or procedures can be performed safely while patients are taking clopidogrel. In this article, we review the current best evidence on the risk for bleeding with clopidogrel therapy in noncardiac surgery, summarize recent guidelines on appropriate duration of DAPT, and make recommendations on the management of perioperative DAPT.

PMID: 23466970 [PubMed - in process]

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