In patients with artificial heart valve prosthesis oral anticoagulants reduce but not eliminate the thromboembolic complications however, they do increase the risk of bleeding. In the present study, the incidence of thromboembolic and hemorrhagic complications in two homogeneous groups of patients with artificial heart valves on long term oral anticoagulant treatment has been evaluated. Group A (99 patients; total follow-up = 309 years) were resident in the Triveneto regions and received a questionnaire while group B (104 patients; total follow-up = 370 years) were referred to our department's centre for the control of oral anticoagulant treatment. Both groups were kept at a therapeutic range of 20-30% in terms of prothrombin activity. The incidence of thromboembolic and hemorrhagic complications is expressed as the number of episodes per 100 patient/years. Thromboembolic episodes were 2.6 (1.3 fatal) in group A while they were 1.08 (0.27 fatal) in group B; the reduction of fatal thromboembolic events was statistically significant (p less than 0.05). Hemorrhagic episodes were 1.9 (0.63 fatal) in group A while they were 0.81 (0 fatal) in group B. We concluded that an organized control of oral anticoagulant treatment in patients with artificial heart valves is advantageous as it significantly reduces fatal thromboembolism. Moreover, it could reduce the incidence of total thromboembolic and hemorrhagic episodes by more than 50%.
|Translated title of the contribution||Advantages of a cardiologic ambulatory care facility specifically organized for patients undergoing treatment with oral anticoagulant drugs|
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Giornale Italiano di Cardiologia|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 1989|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine