A National Canadian Survey of Antithrombotic Therapy After Urgent and Emergent Limb Revascularization
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Patients with peripheral artery disease who undergo urgent or emergent lower extremity revascularization have the highest risk of major adverse cardiac and limb events. Although available evidence suggests that antithrombotic therapy reduces this risk, optimal antithrombotic therapy is unclear. In this report, we aim to describe current practice patterns for use of antithrombotic therapies after urgent/emergent peripheral artery revascularization. A self-administered online survey was distributed to all active vascular surgeons registered through the Canadian Society of Vascular Surgery (n = 149) between March 19 and April 29, 2019. The overall response rate was 53% (79/149). More than half of the respondents use a medical specialist service in aiding decision-making (52% (95% confidence interval [CI], 40.9%-63.0%). When concerned for high rethrombosis risk, respondents most commonly favoured initiation of either aspirin plus full dose anticoagulation (60% [95% CI, 49.2%-70.8%]) or dual antiplatelet therapy (58% (95% CI, 47.1%-68.9%]). Intraoperative findings and patient characteristics prompting concern for high rethrombosis risk include residual proximal/distal occlusive disease (75% [95% CI, 65.5%-84.5%]), poor-quality venous conduit (76% [95% CI, 66.6%-85.4%]), distal/infrapopliteal synthetic conduit (77% [95% CI, 67.7%-86.3%]), and history of multiple previous failed vascular interventions (98% [95% CI, 94.9%-100%]). More than 90% of respondents believe significant uncertainty exists in antithrombotic decision-making after urgent/emergent peripheral revascularization. Substantial uncertainty exists regarding antithrombotic therapy after urgent/emergent revascularization. In patients at high perceived rethrombosis risk, vascular surgeons preferentially choose aspirin with full-dose anticoagulation or dual antiplatelet therapy. Because of the clinical uncertainty in this domain, trials to determine optimal antithrombotic therapy in this high-risk population are required.
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