Simultaneous therapy with antiplatelet and anticoagulant drugs in symptomatic cardiovascular disease.
Twenty of approximately 1000 patients attending the arteriosclerosis clinic at MIT during a 13 year period were treated simultaneously with aspirin and warfarin for symptomatic atherosclerotic (19) or rheumatic (1) heart or vascular disease. The average duration of therapy was 5.8 years. Thirteen patients suffered from familial hyperlipoproteinemia; only one patient had none of the major risk factors for arteriosclerosis. Refractory symptoms were related to the central nervous system in 13, peripheral vascular system in 5 and the heart in 2. All twenty patients became asymptomatic or showed marked clinical improvement on aspirin plus warfarin therapy. While on this therapy, complications, both thrombotic and hemorrhagic, occurred in 7 of the 20 patients (graft embolus in 1, and bleeding in 6; with one death as a result of intracranial bleeding) and sudden death, probably from acute myocardial ischemia, in a further 2 patients. We conclude that when alternative therapies are impossible or have proven to be of no avail in patients suffering from the complications of advanced atherosclerosis, the simultaneous administration of aspirin and warfarin may be a therapeutic alternative, although very close and careful followup of the patients' prothrombin times and clinical status is essential.
- Copyright © 1985 by American Heart Association