Safety and effectiveness of aspirin and enoxaparin for venous thromboembolism prophylaxis after total hip and knee arthroplasty: a systematic review
SourceAnz Journal of Surgery, 89, 10, (2019), pp. 1204-1210
Article / Letter to editor
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Anz Journal of Surgery
SubjectRadboudumc 15: Urological cancers RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
BACKGROUND: Patients undergoing total hip arthroplasty (THA) or total knee arthroplasty (TKA) are at risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE). Australian orthopaedic guidelines recommend aspirin and low-molecular-weight heparin (e.g. enoxaparin) for VTE prophylaxis; however, there is debate in the international literature around the use of aspirin as VTE prophylaxis. This review assesses the risks and benefits of aspirin compared to enoxaparin as VTE prophylaxis for patients undergoing THA or TKA. METHODS: A systematic review was conducted to identify relevant randomized controlled trials. Studies comparing enoxaparin, aspirin and/or placebo for VTE prophylaxis in THA or TKA patients were included. Network meta-analysis (NMA) was performed to calculate risk ratios (RRs) and confidence intervals (CIs). Quality appraisal was conducted by assessing risk of bias and the strength of the evidence. RESULTS: Nine randomized controlled trials were eligible for inclusion. The NMA found no statistically significant differences for the investigated outcomes: total DVT rates (RR = 1.21, 95% CI 0.86, 1.72), symptomatic pulmonary embolism (PE) rates (RR = 1.02, 95% CI 0.02, 50.86), major haemorrhage (RR = 0.97, 95% CI 0.02, 50.99) and wound complication (RR = 0.73, 95% CI 0.17, 3.20). The occurrence of PE was rare. Due to limited data, sub-group analysis was not possible. The overall quality of evidence in the NMA is considered to be very low. CONCLUSION: This review did not find statistically significant differences between aspirin and enoxaparin. Future studies should identify more evidence, particularly for rare outcomes such as PE, as this might help decision-makers to get consensus on the use of aspirin as VTE prophylaxis.
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