Antiplatelet therapy in peripheral arterial disease. Consensus statement
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OBJECTIVES: Antiplatelet agents are commonly prescribed to reduce the risk of myocardial infarction, stroke and graft occlusion in patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD). The objective was to summarise current evidence and provide recommendations on the use of antiplatelet agents in PAD. METHODS: A consensus group was assembled including 20 specialists from a variety of fields involved in the management of patients with PAD. Data was circulated in a systematic manner prior to a main consensus meeting held in November 2001. The document subsequently produced was circulated within the group to ensure agreement in the interpretation and presentation of its findings. RESULTS: Consensus recommendations are provided in 7 common or contentious scenarios in PAD. The recommendations are graded to reflect the evidence available and interpretations of the group. Although the document provides recommendations, it is stressed that they must be interpreted in the light of individual patient circumstances. CONCLUSION: Antiplatelet agents have an important role in the management of patient with PAD. Although this document provides consensus recommendations, the optimum treatment in many scenarios remains unclear due to a lack of focussed clinical trials in PAD.
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