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Thromb Res. 2002 Oct 1;108(1):3-13.

Perioperative anticoagulation management in patients who are receiving oral anticoagulant therapy: a practical guide for clinicians.

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  • Department of Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. jdouket@mcmaster.ca


The management of patients who require temporary interruption of oral anticoagulant therapy because of surgery or other invasive procedures is a clinically important topic because of the increasing prevalence of patients who are receiving oral anticoagulants and the availability of low-molecular-weight heparins (LMWHs), which allow out-of-hospital perioperative anticoagulation. The optimal management of such patients has been hampered by the lack of well-designed prospective studies investigating the efficacy and safety of different perioperative management strategies. The two main issues that need to be considered in perioperative anticoagulant management is the patient's risk of thromboembolic event when anticoagulant therapy is interrupted and the risk of bleeding that is associated with the surgery or procedure. An assessment of these factors will determine the perioperative management approach. The objectives of this review are to focus on practical issues relating to perioperative anticoagulation and the implementation of a perioperative anticoagulation management approach that can be used in everyday clinical practice.

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