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SPECIAL ARTICLE  PERIPHERAL ARTERIAL DISEASE Editor’s choice • Freefree

International Angiology 2021 June;40(3):229-39

DOI: 10.23736/S0392-9590.21.04597-1

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

lingua: Inglese

Do we have a unified consensus on antithrombotic management of PAD?

Pavel POREDOS 1, Pier L. ANTIGNANI 2 , Ales BLINC 1, Zlatko FRAS 1, Mateja K. JEZOVNIK 3, Jawed FAREED 4, Armando MANSILHA 5

1 Department of Vascular Disease, University Medical Center Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia; 2 Vascular Center, Nuova Villa Claudia, Rome, Italy; 3 Department of Advanced Cardiopulmonary Therapies and Transplantation, Health Science Center, University of Texas, Houston, TX, USA; 4 Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, IL, USA; 5 Department of Angiology and Vascular Surgery, Hospital CUF Porto, Porto, Portugal



Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is one of the most frequent manifestations of atherosclerosis with high rates of morbidity and mortality. Platelets and coagulation are involved in the progression of atherosclerosis and thromboembolic complications. PAD patients have increased prothrombotic potential, which includes platelet hyperaggregability and increased pro-coagulant state. Therefore, antithrombotic treatment is of utmost importance for the prevention of cardiovascular events in this group of patients. Aspirin is the basic antiplatelet drug, but with limited efficacy in PAD. In contrast to coronary artery disease, its effect on the prevention of cardiovascular events in PAD has been limited proven. Particularly in asymptomatic PAD, there is no evidence for risk reduction with aspirin. Clopidogrel and ticagrelor are more effective than aspirin. Clopidogrel is thus an effective alternative to aspirin for prevention of cardiovascular events in symptomatic PAD. In patients who are non-responders to clopidogrel, ticagrelor is indicated. Dual antiplatelet treatment (DAPT) with aspirin and ticagrelor in patients with coronary artery disease and concomitant PAD significantly decreased the rate of major adverse cardiovascular events, including adverse limb events. However, in the CHARISMA Trial, aspirin and clopidogrel were not more effective than aspirin alone and increased bleeding complications. Therefore, DAPT seems effective only in PAD accompanied by coronary artery disease. Anticoagulant treatment for symptomatic PAD with vitamin K antagonists alone or in combination with aspirin is not more effective than single antiplatelet treatment but increases the rate of major bleeding. Low dose rivaroxaban combined with aspirin in PAD patients significantly reduces cardiovascular events, including limb-threatening ischemia and limb amputations. Anticoagulation and antiplatelet treatment after percutaneous or surgical revascularization of PAD improve the patency of treated vessels. Aspirin with or without dipyridamole improved patency of infra-inguinal by-pass grafts at one year. The combination of clopidogrel with aspirin was more effective than aspirin alone in the prevention of prosthetic graft occlusions in patients undergoing below-knee by-pass-grafting. Oral vitamin K antagonists were not more effective than aspirin in the prevention of infra-inguinal by-pass occlusion. The combination of low dose rivaroxaban and aspirin was effective in preventing major adverse cardiovascular events and adverse limb events after infrainguinal endovascular or surgical revascularization in patients with intermittent claudication. However, the data on antithrombotic treatment after revascularization for limb-threatening ischemia is scanty and inconclusive. In conclusion: Antithrombotic treatment of PAD is a cornerstone for the management of these patients. Antiplatelet drugs prevent the initiation and progression of atherosclerosis and are effective also in the prevention of thromboembolic events. Simultaneous use of antiplatelet and anticoagulation drugs is accompanied by an increased risk of bleeding. However, combined treatment with aspirin and low-dose rivaroxaban is more effective than single antithrombotic treatment and safer than full-dose combined treatment.


KEY WORDS: Consensus; Cardiovascular diseases; Peripheral arterial disease

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