BackgroundFollowing severe limb ischemia requiring urgent/emergent revascularization, peripheral arterial disease patients suffer a high risk of recurrent atherothrombosis.
MethodsPatients discharged from Hamilton General Hospital (Hamilton, Ontario) between April 2016 and September 2017 following severe limb ischemia requiring urgent/emergent revascularization were identified via the Local Health Integration Network CorHealth database, with supplemental information from chart review.
ResultsA total of 158 patients admitted for urgent/emergent revascularization were identified (148 alive at discharge). Among patients without a pre-existing indication for anticoagulation, 38.8% (n = 47) were discharged on single-antiplatelet therapy, 27.3% (n = 33) on dual-antiplatelet therapy, 19.8% (n = 24) on anticoagulants plus antiplatelet therapy, 6.6% (n = 8) on anticoagulants alone, and 2.6% (n = 3) on unknown therapy. Patients who received angioplasty with stenting were more likely be discharged on dual-antiplatelet therapy (hazard ratio [HR]: 7.14; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.87-17.76; P < 0.01); patients who received an embolectomy/thrombectomy were more likely be discharged on an anticoagulant alone (HR: 2.61; 95% CI: 1.00-6.81; P = 0.049); and patients who received peripheral bypass grafting were more likely be discharged on single-antiplatelet therapy (HR: 2.28; 95% CI: 1.11-4.69; P = 0.024). Neither statins (60.8% vs 56.3%; P = 0.23) nor renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitors (48.7% vs 50.6%; P = 0.58) were prescribed at higher rates at discharge, compared with the rate at admission.
ConclusionsSubstantial heterogeneity exists in antithrombotic prescription following urgent/emergent revascularization. No intensification of non-antithrombotic vascular protective medications occurred during hospitalization. Clinical trials and health system interventions to optimize medical therapy in peripheral arterial disease patients are urgently needed.