Heart patients take aspirin to prevent the recurrence of heart attack, stroke but usually stop taking it a week before of coronary artery surgery as it poses a risk of surgical bleeding. But is it necessary to halt the intake of aspirin before surgery?
Researchers from the University of Melbourne have conducted a study on 2100 patients who were about to undergo coronary artery surgery, of them, 1047 were randomly received 100mg of aspirin and other 1053 received placebo. The study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine
‘Heart patients can safely take aspirin right up to the day of their surgery as it does not pose a risk of surgical bleeding.’
A primary outcome event of death or thrombotic complication occurred in 19.3 percent of patients in the aspirin group and 20.4 percent of those in the placebo group. The adverse effect of hemorrhage leading to reoperation occurred in 1.8 percent of patients in the aspirin group and 2.1 percent of those in the placebo group; cardiac tamponade occurred in 1.1 and 0.4 percent, respectively.
"Among patients undergoing coronary artery surgery, the administration of preoperative aspirin resulted in neither a lower risk of death or thrombotic complications nor a higher risk of bleeding than that with placebo," authors concluded.
"Our study showed no increased risk of surgical bleeding, or need for blood transfusion so we now have clear evidence that aspirin can be safely continued up to the day of coronary artery surgery," said Professor Myles.
Reference: Paul S. Myles, Julian A. Smith et al. Stopping vs. Continuing Aspirin before Coronary Artery Surgery, N Engl J Med
2016; 374:728-737, DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1507688.