Does acetyl salicylic acid (ASA) have a role in the prevention of venous thromboembolism?
Article first published online: 12 MAY 2009
© 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
British Journal of Haematology
Volume 146, Issue 2, pages 142–149, July 2009
How to Cite
Karthikeyan, G., Eikelboom, J. W., Turpie, A. G. G. and Hirsh, J. (2009), Does acetyl salicylic acid (ASA) have a role in the prevention of venous thromboembolism?. British Journal of Haematology, 146: 142–149. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2141.2009.07734.x
- Issue published online: 1 JUL 2009
- Article first published online: 12 MAY 2009
- acetyl salicylic acid;
- deep venous thrombosis;
- pulmonary thromboembolism;
- venous thromboembolism
Guidelines differ on whether acetyl salicylic acid (ASA, aspirin) should be used for prophylaxis in patients at high-risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE), principally because of differences in perceptions of its efficacy. ASA is an attractive therapeutic option because it is inexpensive, easy to administer and does not require monitoring. We critically reappraised the evidence from randomized controlled trials for the efficacy of ASA in VTE prevention. ASA is clearly efficacious in preventing VTE compared to placebo or no treatment, but appears to be less efficacious than the low molecular weight heparins in small trials. There is little data for ASA in comparison with unfractionated heparin and warfarin. A large randomized controlled trial is required to clarify the role of ASA compared to contemporary anticoagulant strategies for the prevention of VTE.