Antithrombotic Therapy in Patients with Prosthetic Heart Valves



Mohamed HA

Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Regina General Hospital. Regina, SK, Canada

Libyan J Med AOP:090115


Patients with mechanical valve prostheses require a lifelong anticoagulant treatment. The combined use of Warfarin and low-dose aspirin appears to reduce the risk of valve thrombosis and systemic embolism at a low risk of bleeding. The management of women with prosthetic heart valves during pregnancy poses a particular challenge, as there are no available controlled clinical trials to provide guidelines for effective antithrombotic therapy. Oral anticoagulants, such as Warfarin, cause foetal embryopathy; unfractionated heparin and low-molecular-weight heparin have been reported to be ineffective in preventing thromboembolic complications.
This article discusses the available data and the most recent guidelines in the antithrombotic management of patients with prosthetic valves, and antithrombotic therapy in various clinical situations such as pregnant women with prosthetic heart valves, and patients with prosthetic heart valves undergoing noncardiac surgery.

Keywords: Anticoagulation, Valve disease, Valve prosthesis.