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Eur J Intern Med. 2011 Feb;22(1):26-31. doi: 10.1016/j.ejim.2010.10.007. Epub 2010 Nov 26.

Antiplatelet therapy in the perioperative period.

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Department of Internal Medicine I-Cardiology, University Hospital Olomouc and Palacký University Faculty of Medicine, I. P. Pavlova 6, 775 20, Olomouc, Czech Republic.


The current practice of withdrawing aspirin 7-10 days preoperatively may be dangerous in certain groups of patients. The risk of cardiovascular events increases 3-fold after aspirin withdrawal. The average time between aspirin withdrawal and the manifestation of acute coronary syndrome is 8 to 11 days. The withdrawal of clopidogrel earlier than 4-6 weeks after bare metal stent implantation or less than 12 months after drug-eluting stent implantation is very risky and poses a high risk of stent thrombosis and high perioperative mortality. Continuing aspirin perioperatively leads to a 1.5-fold increase in perioperative bleeding complications but it does not lead to a higher severity of bleeding complications or higher mortality. The article analyzes current European and American guidelines for perioperative antiplatelet treatment and suggests an algorithm based on the guidelines to help make clinical decisions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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