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Eur J Vasc Surg. 1993 Jan;7(1):6-13.

When do vascular surgeons prescribe antiplatelet therapy? Current attitudes.

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Department of Surgery, University College & Middlesex School of Medicine, Middlesex Hospital, London, U.K.


A large number of studies have addressed the efficacy of antiplatelet agents in the prevention of primary and secondary atherosclerotic events. We have undertaken to review the literature and conclude that there is good evidence for the routine prescription of antiplatelet therapy in the prevention of secondary atherosclerotic events in patients with unstable angina, myocardial infarction, transient ischaemic attacks and post-arterial reconstruction. The evidence for any benefit in the prevention of vascular graft occlusion is less clear cut. We therefore conducted a postal survey of Vascular Surgeons in Britain and Ireland, receiving 112 responses to 134 questionnaires. Forty-seven percent of surgeons used antiplatelet therapy following any vascular procedure that they undertook. The rest were more selective in their use of these drugs, reserving them for specific vascular reconstruction, e.g. with synthetic grafts. Five percent of surgeons used anti-platelet aggregating prophylaxis only in patients following transluminal balloon angioplasty. In view of extensive evidence of reduction in long-term vascular mortality and non-fatal vascular events by the use of these drugs in patients who have had a primary vascular event, we would suggest that there is a strong argument for the routine use of anti-platelet drugs in patients presenting with arterial disease to a Vascular Surgeon, regardless of vascular reconstruction, angioplasty or type of graft used.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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