Comparison of High-Dose With Low-Dose Aspirin in Patients With Mechanical Heart Valve Replacement Treated With Oral Anticoagulant
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BACKGROUND: There are no reported studies on the safety and efficacy of low-dose aspirin with low-intensity oral anticoagulation in patients with heart valve replacement. In this study, we compared the use of 100 mg/d aspirin with 650 mg/d aspirin in the prevention of systemic embolism and vascular death in patients with heart valve replacement who were being treated with oral anticoagulants with a target international normalized ratio (INR) of 2.0 to 3.0. METHODS AND RESULTS: Four hundred nine of 416 consecutive patients who had cardiac valve replacement were randomized in open allocation into one of two groups; both groups were treated with oral anticoagulant therapy with a target INR of 2.0 to 3.0. Two hundred seven patients who received 100 mg/d aspirin for an average of 24.1 months were compared with 202 patients who received 650 mg/d aspirin for an average of 21.7 months in a randomized-treatment, open-allocation study. There were no significant differences in systemic embolism, vascular death, or total death rates between the low- and high-dose aspirin treatment groups (0.5 and 1.1, 1.2 and 0.5, and 4.6 and 2.5 per 100 patients/y, respectively). The total number of hemorrhagic events was 13.4 per 100 patients/y in the high-dose aspirin group and 7.9 per 100 patients/y in the low-dose aspirin group (P = .035), but the rate of bleeding was influenced by dipyridamole in the 650-mg aspirin group. CONCLUSIONS: In patients with mechanical heart valve replacements, low-dose aspirin (100 mg/d) in conjunction with oral anticoagulants at an INR of 2.0 to 3.0 is as effective as the use of high-dose aspirin (650 mg/d) in the prevention of systemic embolism.
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