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Systematic review of antiplatelet therapy for the prevention of myocardial infarction, stroke or vascular death in patients with peripheral vascular disease

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Gerard Stansby


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Antiplatelet agents may prevent vascular events and death in patients with peripheral vascular disease (PVD). A systematic review of 39 randomized controlled trials of antiplatelet therapy in patients with PVD was performed. For patients with PVD the number suffering a non-fatal myocardial infarction, non-fatal stroke or vascular death in the antiplatelet group was 6.5 per cent compared with 8.1 per cent in the placebo group (odds ratio 0.78 (95 per cent confidence interval (c.i.) 0.63-0.96); P = 0.02), favouring antiplatelet treatment. For infrainguinal bypass surgery (ten trials) and balloon angioplasty (two) the differences were still in favour of antiplatelet therapy, but they did not reach statistical significance. In five trials of aspirin against another antiplatelet agent, 8.4 per cent in the aspirin group suffered a vascular event compared with 6.6 per cent in the second antiplatelet group (odds ratio 0.76 (95 per cent c.i. 0.64-0.91); P < 0.01), favouring ticlopidine/clopidogrel/aspirin + dipyridamole against aspirin alone. Antiplatelet therapy reduces serious vascular events and vascular death in patients with PVD. For infrainguinal arterial surgery or balloon angioplasty the benefit remains unproven, but the number of trials to date is small. There is also evidence to support the use of antiplatelet drugs other than aspirin for the prevention of vascular events in those with PVD.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Robless P, Mikhailidis DP, Stansby G

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Journal of Surgery

Year: 2001

Volume: 88

Issue: 6

Pages: 787-800

ISSN (print): 0007-1323

ISSN (electronic): 1365-2168


DOI: 10.1046/j.0007-1323.2001.01774.x