Navigation Links
Year of Taking Risky Blood Thinners May Be Unnecessary After Stent Surgery

By Maureen Salamon
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Sept. 20 (HealthDay News) -- A full year of aggressive anti-clotting therapy -- which can lead to heavy bleeding -- may not be needed after surgery to implant a drug-coated cardiac stent, two new studies suggest.

Standard treatment for patients receiving so-called drug-eluting cardiac stents, which prop open clogged arteries after angioplasty, typically entails 12 months of double anti-platelet therapy consisting of aspirin and prescription blood thinners. Korean and Spanish research indicates, however, that patients who discontinue such risky therapy after several months suffer no more ill effects than those treated for a year.

"The interesting thing is, we went through a period of time so panicked about anti-platelet therapy interruptions and the effect they might have," said Dr. Kirk Garratt, director of clinical research at Lenox Hill Heart and Vascular Institute of New York City, who was not involved in the studies. "But over the last few years, a series of reports and clinical trials say the same thing -- that we probably don't need to be as worked up about it as we used to be."

The studies are scheduled for publication Sept. 21 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Cardiac stents -- metal mesh tubes that prevent heart arteries from re-closing -- are implanted in more than 500,000 Americans each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some stents are coated with slowly released medication to prevent the growth of scar tissue in the artery lining.

Prescription blood thinners used in double anti-platelet therapy, such as clopidogrel (Plavix) and warfarin (Coumadin), are tricky to dose properly and can lead to life-threatening bleeding complications.

The Korean study split more than 2,100 patients, all of whom underwent stent surgery after angina (chest pain) or a heart attack, into groups treated with either three months of double anti-platelet therapy or the standard 12-month course. After a year, just less than 5 percent of both groups had suffered complications such as death, bleeding, heart attack or clotting near the stent.

The Spanish study addressed interruptions in double anti-platelet therapy due to noncompliance, surgery or other medical decisions in a group of 1,600 patients. Most of the 10.6 percent of patients who discontinued the therapy did so temporarily, but this practice didn't translate into more serious consequences compared to those whose therapy was not interrupted.

"The big takeaway is that neither of these studies fundamentally change the way I think about these therapies for my patients," Garratt said. "But the Spanish study increases my confidence in the way I'm managing these patients."

But Dr. Christopher Cove, associate professor of medicine and assistant director of the cardiac catheterization lab at University of Rochester Medical Center in New York, cautioned it would be a mistake to think it's safe to stop double anti-platelet therapy based on the new research. Larger studies are needed, he added.

"We know that [double anti-platelet therapy] is beneficial as compared to aspirin alone in large groups of patients, and that there's a high risk of bleeding with it," Cove said. "What we really need to know is, if we have to stop double anti-platelet therapy, when is the safe time to do that."

More information

The American Heart Association has more about angioplasty and stents.

SOURCES: Christopher Cove, M.D., associate professor, medicine, and assistant director, cardiac catheterization lab, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, N.Y.; Kirk Garratt, M.D., director, clinical research, Lenox Hill Heart and Vascular Institute of New York, New York City; Sept. 21, 2012, Journal of the American College of Cardiology

Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Taking Breaks From Prostate Cancer Hormone Therapy Seems Safe: Study
2. Children taking steroids for asthma are slightly shorter than peers
3. Many Teens Drinking, Taking Drugs During School: Survey
4. More Kids Taking Antipsychotics for ADHD: Study
5. Off-label drug use common, but patients may not know theyre taking them, Mayo finds
6. Taking nothing at face value
7. Taking tissue regeneration beyond the state-of-the-art
8. Taking the fate of stem cells in hand: RUB researchers generate immature nerve cells
9. Young Men Taking HIV Meds May Be at Risk for Bone Loss
10. Patients taking certolizumab pegol are twice as likely to achievE ACR20 compared to placebo
11. Taking Anti-HIV Meds Prior to Exposure May Help Prevent Infection
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Year of Taking Risky Blood Thinners May Be Unnecessary After Stent Surgery
(Date:12/1/2015)... N.C. (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... The ... to drive awareness and funds for Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) research, timed today to ... Atrophy takes many things from patients including their ability to work and be productive, ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... Royal River ... a new study that found post-menopausal women who took the nutritional supplement creatine, along ... women who trained but did not take creatine. , The report is part of ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville has ... the only hospital in the region providing what is known as the world’s ... patients were revealed recently at a medical conference and published in The New ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... identification tests to continue the expansion of the company’s growing product line of ... for Chinook (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) and Sockeye (Oncorhynchus nerka) – allow InstantLabs to offer ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Diabetic foot wounds ... Podiatrists are well aware that psychology-based patient non-compliance (disobedience of a health care ... to diseases of the diabetic foot. The American Board of Multiple Specialties ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... --> --> ... Acid Labeling Market by Product (Reagents & Kits, Services), ... Vitro Transcription, Reverse Transcription, End Labeling), by Region - ... market is expected to reach USD 1,925.7 Million by ... a CAGR of 8.65%. Browse 77 market ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... 1, 2015 Building on its 25-year ... Johnson (NYSE: JNJ ) today announced four ... to significantly reduce the burden of HIV incidence, ... percent of new HIV infections among adolescents in ... Day, these new initiatives include collaborations with the ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... DUBLIN , Dec. 01, 2015 ... ) has announced the addition of ... Testing Market: Campylobacter, Cryptosporidium, E. Coli, ... Yersinia" report to their offering. ... announced the addition of the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: