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Orv Hetil. 2009 Mar 22;150(12):541-8. doi: 10.1556/OH.2009.28554.

[Anticoagulation and antiplatelet therapy, and gastrointestinal endoscopy].

[Article in Hungarian]

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  • 1Semmelweis Egyetem, Altalános Orvostudományi Kar II. Belgyógyászati Klinika Budapest Szentkirályi u. 46. 1088.


Over the past decade, the application of anticoagulant and antiplatelet agents for various cardiovascular and hematologic conditions has become more widespread. These medications can decrease the risk of thromboembolic events, meanwhile may potentiate gastrointestinal bleeding. The decision to reverse anticoagulation, thereby risking thromboembolic complications, must be carefully weighted against the increased risk of bleeding when maintaining anticoagulation. Elective procedures should be delayed in patients on temporary anticoagulation therapy (e.g. those with deep vein thrombosis). For procedures considered to have a low risk of bleeding (e.g. diagnostic endoscopy and biopsy) there is no need to discontinue or adjust anticoagulation. For procedures with a higher risk of bleeding (e.g. polypectomy and biliary sphincterotomy), an individual approach is required. This approach might include stopping oral anticoagulant therapy with or without the administration of unfractionated heparin or low-molecular-weight heparin for the pre-procedure and post-procedure periods, during which the patient's international normalized ratio is in the subtherapeutic range. Antiplatelet drugs (aspirin, clopidogrel, ticlopidine) may also increase the risk of bleeding induced by gastrointestinal endoscopic procedures. There is no indication to stop the therapy before esophagogastroduodenoscopy. Discontinuation of aspirin 4-7 days (according to the cardiovascular risk) before other endoscopic procedures is recommended. When aspirin is indicated for primary prevention, it can be resumed 14 days and 10 days after polypectomy and sphincterotomy, respectively. In cases of secondary prevention, it should be resumed after 1 week.

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