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Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis, 9th Ed: American College of Chest Physicians Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines

Chest. 2012;141(2_suppl):1S. doi:10.1378/chest.1412S1
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Chest. 2012;141(2_suppl):2S-6S. doi:10.1378/chest.1412S2
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Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis, 9th ed: American College of Chest Physicians Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines

Chest. 2012;141(2_suppl):7S-47S. doi:10.1378/chest.1412S3
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The eighth iteration of the American College of Chest Physicians Antithrombotic Guidelines presented, in a paper version, a narrative evidence summary and rationale for the recommendations, a small number of evidence profiles summarizing bodies of evidence, and some articles with quite extensive summary tables of primary studies. In total, this represented 600 recommendations summarized in 968 pages of text. Many readers responded that the result was too voluminous for their liking or practical use.

Chest. 2012;141(2_suppl):48S-52S. doi:10.1378/chest.11-2286
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The Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis, 9th ed: American College of Chest Physicians Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines differs substantially from the prior versions both in process and in content. In this introduction, we describe some of the differences and the rationale for the changes.

Chest. 2012;141(2_suppl):53S-70S. doi:10.1378/chest.11-2288
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Background:  To develop the Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis, 9th ed: ACCP Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines (AT9), the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) assembled a panel of clinical experts, information scientists, decision scientists, and systematic review and guideline methodologists.

Methods:  Clinical areas were designated as articles, and a methodologist without important intellectual or financial conflicts of interest led a panel for each article. Only panel members without significant conflicts of interest participated in making recommendations. Panelists specified the population, intervention and alternative, and outcomes for each clinical question and defined criteria for eligible studies. Panelists and an independent evidence-based practice center executed systematic searches for relevant studies and evaluated the evidence, and where resources and evidence permitted, they created standardized tables that present the quality of the evidence and key results in a transparent fashion.

Results:  One or more recommendations relate to each specific clinical question, and each recommendation is clearly linked to the underlying body of evidence. Judgments regarding the quality of evidence and strength of recommendations were based on approaches developed by the Grades of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation Working Group. Panel members constructed scenarios describing relevant health states and rated the disutility associated with these states based on an additional systematic review of evidence regarding patient values and preferences for antithrombotic therapy. These ratings guided value and preference decisions underlying the recommendations. Each topic panel identified questions in which resource allocation issues were particularly important and, for these issues, experts in economic analysis provided additional searches and guidance.

Conclusions:  AT9 methodology reflects the current science of evidence-based clinical practice guideline development, with reliance on high-quality systematic reviews, a standardized process for quality assessment of individual studies and the body of evidence, an explicit process for translating the evidence into recommendations, disclosure of financial as well as intellectual conflicts of interest followed by management of disclosed conflicts, and extensive peer review.

Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis, 9th Ed: American College of Chest Physician Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines Online Only Articles

Chest. 2012;141(2_suppl):e1S-e23S. doi:10.1378/chest.11-2290
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Background:  Development of clinical practice guidelines involves making trade-offs between desirable and undesirable consequences of alternative management strategies. Although the relative value of health states to patients should provide the basis for these trade-offs, few guidelines have systematically summarized the relevant evidence. We conducted a systematic review relating to values and preferences of patients considering antithrombotic therapy.

Methods:  We included studies examining patient preferences for alternative approaches to antithrombotic prophylaxis and studies that examined, in the context of antithrombotic prophylaxis or treatment, how patients value alternative health states and experiences with treatment. We conducted a systematic search and compiled structured summaries of the results. Steps in the process that involved judgment were conducted in duplicate.

Results:  We identified 48 eligible studies. Sixteen dealt with atrial fibrillation, five with VTE, four with stroke or myocardial infarction prophylaxis, six with thrombolysis in acute stroke or myocardial infarction, and 17 with burden of antithrombotic treatment.

Conclusion:  Patient values and preferences regarding thromboprophylaxis treatment appear to be highly variable. Participant responses may depend on their prior experience with the treatments or health outcomes considered as well as on the methods used for preference elicitation. It should be standard for clinical practice guidelines to conduct systematic reviews of patient values and preferences in the specific content area.

Chest. 2012;141(2_suppl):e24S-e43S. doi:10.1378/chest.11-2291
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This article describes the pharmacology of approved parenteral anticoagulants. These include the indirect anticoagulants, unfractionated heparin (UFH), low-molecular-weight heparins (LMWHs), fondaparinux, and danaparoid, as well as the direct thrombin inhibitors hirudin, bivalirudin, and argatroban. UFH is a heterogeneous mixture of glycosaminoglycans that bind to antithrombin via a unique pentasaccharide sequence and catalyze the inactivation of thrombin, factor Xa, and other clotting enzymes. Heparin also binds to cells and plasma proteins other than antithrombin causing unpredictable pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties and triggering nonhemorrhagic side effects, such as heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) and osteoporosis. LMWHs have greater inhibitory activity against factor Xa than thrombin and exhibit less binding to cells and plasma proteins than heparin. Consequently, LMWH preparations have more predictable pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties, have a longer half-life than heparin, and are associated with a lower risk of nonhemorrhagic side effects. LMWHs can be administered once daily or bid by subcutaneous injection, without coagulation monitoring. Based on their greater convenience, LMWHs have replaced UFH for many clinical indications. Fondaparinux, a synthetic pentasaccharide, catalyzes the inhibition of factor Xa, but not thrombin, in an antithrombin-dependent fashion. Fondaparinux binds only to antithrombin. Therefore, fondaparinux-associated HIT or osteoporosis is unlikely to occur. Fondaparinux exhibits complete bioavailability when administered subcutaneously, has a longer half-life than LMWHs, and is given once daily by subcutaneous injection in fixed doses, without coagulation monitoring. Three additional parenteral direct thrombin inhibitors and danaparoid are approved as alternatives to heparin in patients with HIT.

Chest. 2012;141(2_suppl):e44S-e88S. doi:10.1378/chest.11-2292
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Background:  The objective of this article is to summarize the published literature concerning the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of oral anticoagulant drugs that are currently available for clinical use and other aspects related to their management.

Methods:  We carried out a standard review of published articles focusing on the laboratory and clinical characteristics of the vitamin K antagonists; the direct thrombin inhibitor, dabigatran etexilate; and the direct factor Xa inhibitor, rivaroxaban

Results:  The antithrombotic effect of each oral anticoagulant drug, the interactions, and the monitoring of anticoagulation intensity are described in detail and discussed without providing specific recommendations. Moreover, we describe and discuss the clinical applications and optimal dosages of oral anticoagulant therapies, practical issues related to their initiation and monitoring, adverse events such as bleeding and other potential side effects, and available strategies for reversal.

Conclusions:  There is a large amount of evidence on laboratory and clinical characteristics of vitamin K antagonists. A growing body of evidence is becoming available on the first new oral anticoagulant drugs available for clinical use, dabigatran and rivaroxaban.

Chest. 2012;141(2_suppl):e89S-e119S. doi:10.1378/chest.11-2293
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The article describes the mechanisms of action, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of aspirin, dipyridamole, cilostazol, the thienopyridines, and the glycoprotein IIb/IIIa antagonists. The relationships among dose, efficacy, and safety are discussed along with a mechanistic overview of results of randomized clinical trials. The article does not provide specific management recommendations but highlights important practical aspects of antiplatelet therapy, including optimal dosing, the variable balance between benefits and risks when antiplatelet therapies are used alone or in combination with other antiplatelet drugs in different clinical settings, and the implications of persistently high platelet reactivity despite such treatment.

Chest. 2012;141(2_suppl):e120S-e151S. doi:10.1378/chest.11-2294
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This article focuses on new antithrombotic drugs that are in or are entering phase 3 clinical testing. Development of these new agents was prompted by the limitations of existing antiplatelet, anticoagulant, or fibrinolytic drugs. Addressing these unmet needs, this article (1) outlines the rationale for development of new antithrombotic agents; (2) describes the new antiplatelet, anticoagulant, and fibrinolytic drugs; and (3) provides clinical perspectives on the opportunities and challenges faced by these novel agents.

Chest. 2012;141(2_suppl):e152S-e184S. doi:10.1378/chest.11-2295
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Background:  High-quality anticoagulation management is required to keep these narrow therapeutic index medications as effective and safe as possible. This article focuses on the common important management questions for which, at a minimum, low-quality published evidence is available to guide best practices.

Methods:  The methods of this guideline follow those described in Methodology for the Development of Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis Guidelines: Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis, 9th ed: American College of Chest Physicians Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines in this supplement.

Results:  Most practical clinical questions regarding the management of anticoagulation, both oral and parenteral, have not been adequately addressed by randomized trials. We found sufficient evidence for summaries of recommendations for 23 questions, of which only two are strong rather than weak recommendations. Strong recommendations include targeting an international normalized ratio of 2.0 to 3.0 for patients on vitamin K antagonist therapy (Grade 1B) and not routinely using pharmacogenetic testing for guiding doses of vitamin K antagonist (Grade 1B). Weak recommendations deal with such issues as loading doses, initiation overlap, monitoring frequency, vitamin K supplementation, patient self-management, weight and renal function adjustment of doses, dosing decision support, drug interactions to avoid, and prevention and management of bleeding complications. We also address anticoagulation management services and intensive patient education.

Conclusions:  We offer guidance for many common anticoagulation-related management problems. Most anticoagulation management questions have not been adequately studied.

Chest. 2012;141(2_suppl):e185S-e194S. doi:10.1378/chest.11-2289
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This article provides the rationale for the approach to making recommendations primarily used in four articles of the Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis, 9th ed: American College of Chest Physicians Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines: orthopedic surgery, nonorthopedic surgery, nonsurgical patients, and stroke. Some of the early clinical trials of antithrombotic prophylaxis with a placebo or no treatment group used symptomatic VTE and fatal PE to measure efficacy of the treatment. These trials suggest a benefit of thromboprophylaxis in reducing fatal PE. In contrast, most of the recent clinical trials comparing the efficacy of alternative anticoagulants used a surrogate outcome, asymptomatic DVT detected at mandatory venography. This outcome is fundamentally unsatisfactory because it does not allow a trade-off with serious bleeding; that trade-off requires knowledge of the number of symptomatic events that thromboprophylaxis prevents. In this article, we review the merits and limitations of four approaches to estimating reduction in symptomatic thrombosis: (1) direct measurement of symptomatic thrombosis, (2) use of asymptomatic events for relative risks and symptomatic events from randomized controlled trials for baseline risk, (3) use of baseline risk estimates from studies that did not perform surveillance and relative effect from asymptomatic events in randomized controlled trials, and (4) use of available data to estimate the proportion of asymptomatic events that will become symptomatic. All approaches have their limitations. The optimal choice of approach depends on the nature of the evidence available.

Chest. 2012;141(2_suppl):e195S-e226S. doi:10.1378/chest.11-2296
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Background:  This guideline addressed VTE prevention in hospitalized medical patients, outpatients with cancer, the chronically immobilized, long-distance travelers, and those with asymptomatic thrombophilia.

Methods:  This guideline follows methods described in Methodology for the Development of Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis Guidelines: Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis, 9th ed: American College of Chest Physicians Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines in this supplement.

Results:  For acutely ill hospitalized medical patients at increased risk of thrombosis, we recommend anticoagulant thromboprophylaxis with low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH), low-dose unfractionated heparin (LDUH) bid, LDUH tid, or fondaparinux (Grade 1B) and suggest against extending the duration of thromboprophylaxis beyond the period of patient immobilization or acute hospital stay (Grade 2B). For acutely ill hospitalized medical patients at low risk of thrombosis, we recommend against the use of pharmacologic prophylaxis or mechanical prophylaxis (Grade 1B). For acutely ill hospitalized medical patients at increased risk of thrombosis who are bleeding or are at high risk for major bleeding, we suggest mechanical thromboprophylaxis with graduated compression stockings (GCS) (Grade 2C) or intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) (Grade 2C). For critically ill patients, we suggest using LMWH or LDUH thromboprophylaxis (Grade 2C). For critically ill patients who are bleeding or are at high risk for major bleeding, we suggest mechanical thromboprophylaxis with GCS and/or IPC at least until the bleeding risk decreases (Grade 2C). In outpatients with cancer who have no additional risk factors for VTE we suggest against routine prophylaxis with LMWH or LDUH (Grade 2B) and recommend against the prophylactic use of vitamin K antagonists (Grade 1B).

Conclusions:  Decisions regarding prophylaxis in nonsurgical patients should be made after consideration of risk factors for both thrombosis and bleeding, clinical context, and patients’ values and preferences.

Chest. 2012;141(2_suppl):e227S-e277S. doi:10.1378/chest.11-2297
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Background:  VTE is a common cause of preventable death in surgical patients.

Methods:  We developed recommendations for thromboprophylaxis in nonorthopedic surgical patients by using systematic methods as described in Methodology for the Development of Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis Guidelines. Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis, 9th ed: American College of Chest Physicians Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines in this supplement.

Results:  We describe several alternatives for stratifying the risk of VTE in general and abdominal-pelvic surgical patients. When the risk for VTE is very low (< 0.5%), we recommend that no specific pharmacologic (Grade 1B) or mechanical (Grade 2C) prophylaxis be used other than early ambulation. For patients at low risk for VTE (∼1.5%), we suggest mechanical prophylaxis, preferably with intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC), over no prophylaxis (Grade 2C). For patients at moderate risk for VTE (∼3%) who are not at high risk for major bleeding complications, we suggest low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) (Grade 2B), low-dose unfractionated heparin (Grade 2B), or mechanical prophylaxis with IPC (Grade 2C) over no prophylaxis. For patients at high risk for VTE (∼6%) who are not at high risk for major bleeding complications, we recommend pharmacologic prophylaxis with LMWH (Grade 1B) or low-dose unfractionated heparin (Grade 1B) over no prophylaxis. In these patients, we suggest adding mechanical prophylaxis with elastic stockings or IPC to pharmacologic prophylaxis (Grade 2C). For patients at high risk for VTE undergoing abdominal or pelvic surgery for cancer, we recommend extended-duration, postoperative, pharmacologic prophylaxis (4 weeks) with LMWH over limited-duration prophylaxis (Grade 1B). For patients at moderate to high risk for VTE who are at high risk for major bleeding complications or those in whom the consequences of bleeding are believed to be particularly severe, we suggest use of mechanical prophylaxis, preferably with IPC, over no prophylaxis until the risk of bleeding diminishes and pharmacologic prophylaxis may be initiated (Grade 2C). For patients in all risk groups, we suggest that an inferior vena cava filter not be used for primary VTE prevention (Grade 2C) and that surveillance with venous compression ultrasonography should not be performed (Grade 2C). We developed similar recommendations for other nonorthopedic surgical populations.

Conclusions:  Optimal thromboprophylaxis in nonorthopedic surgical patients will consider the risks of VTE and bleeding complications as well as the values and preferences of individual patients.

Chest. 2012;141(2_suppl):e278S-e325S. doi:10.1378/chest.11-2404
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Background:  VTE is a serious, but decreasing complication following major orthopedic surgery. This guideline focuses on optimal prophylaxis to reduce postoperative pulmonary embolism and DVT.

Methods:  The methods of this guideline follow those described in Methodology for the Development of Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis Guidelines: Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis, 9th ed: American College of Chest Physicians Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines in this supplement.

Results:  In patients undergoing major orthopedic surgery, we recommend the use of one of the following rather than no antithrombotic prophylaxis: low-molecular-weight heparin; fondaparinux; dabigatran, apixaban, rivaroxaban (total hip arthroplasty or total knee arthroplasty but not hip fracture surgery); low-dose unfractionated heparin; adjusted-dose vitamin K antagonist; aspirin (all Grade 1B); or an intermittent pneumatic compression device (IPCD) (Grade 1C) for a minimum of 10 to 14 days. We suggest the use of low-molecular-weight heparin in preference to the other agents we have recommended as alternatives (Grade 2C/2B), and in patients receiving pharmacologic prophylaxis, we suggest adding an IPCD during the hospital stay (Grade 2C). We suggest extending thromboprophylaxis for up to 35 days (Grade 2B). In patients at increased bleeding risk, we suggest an IPCD or no prophylaxis (Grade 2C). In patients who decline injections, we recommend using apixaban or dabigatran (all Grade 1B). We suggest against using inferior vena cava filter placement for primary prevention in patients with contraindications to both pharmacologic and mechanical thromboprophylaxis (Grade 2C). We recommend against Doppler (or duplex) ultrasonography screening before hospital discharge (Grade 1B). For patients with isolated lower-extremity injuries requiring leg immobilization, we suggest no thromboprophylaxis (Grade 2B). For patients undergoing knee arthroscopy without a history of VTE, we suggest no thromboprophylaxis (Grade 2B).

Conclusions:  Optimal strategies for thromboprophylaxis after major orthopedic surgery include pharmacologic and mechanical approaches.

Chest. 2012;141(2_suppl):e326S-e350S. doi:10.1378/chest.11-2298
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Background:  This guideline addresses the management of patients who are receiving anticoagulant or antiplatelet therapy and require an elective surgery or procedure.

Methods:  The methods herein follow those discussed in the Methodology for the Development of Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis Guidelines. Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis, 9th ed: American College of Chest Physicians Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines article of this supplement.

Results:  In patients requiring vitamin K antagonist (VKA) interruption before surgery, we recommend stopping VKAs 5 days before surgery instead of a shorter time before surgery (Grade 1B). In patients with a mechanical heart valve, atrial fibrillation, or VTE at high risk for thromboembolism, we suggest bridging anticoagulation instead of no bridging during VKA interruption (Grade 2C); in patients at low risk, we suggest no bridging instead of bridging (Grade 2C). In patients who require a dental procedure, we suggest continuing VKAs with an oral prohemostatic agent or stopping VKAs 2 to 3 days before the procedure instead of alternative strategies (Grade 2C). In moderate- to high-risk patients who are receiving acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) and require noncardiac surgery, we suggest continuing ASA around the time of surgery instead of stopping ASA 7 to 10 days before surgery (Grade 2C). In patients with a coronary stent who require surgery, we recommend deferring surgery > 6 weeks after bare-metal stent placement and > 6 months after drug-eluting stent placement instead of undertaking surgery within these time periods (Grade 1C); in patients requiring surgery within 6 weeks of bare-metal stent placement or within 6 months of drug-eluting stent placement, we suggest continuing antiplatelet therapy perioperatively instead of stopping therapy 7 to 10 days before surgery (Grade 2C).

Conclusions:  Perioperative antithrombotic management is based on risk assessment for thromboembolism and bleeding, and recommended approaches aim to simplify patient management and minimize adverse clinical outcomes.

Chest. 2012;141(2_suppl):e351S-e418S. doi:10.1378/chest.11-2299
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Background:  Objective testing for DVT is crucial because clinical assessment alone is unreliable and the consequences of misdiagnosis are serious. This guideline focuses on the identification of optimal strategies for the diagnosis of DVT in ambulatory adults.

Methods:  The methods of this guideline follow those described in Methodology for the Development of Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis Guidelines: Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis, 9th ed: American College of Chest Physicians Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines.

Results:  We suggest that clinical assessment of pretest probability of DVT, rather than performing the same tests in all patients, should guide the diagnostic process for a first lower extremity DVT (Grade 2B). In patients with a low pretest probability of first lower extremity DVT, we recommend initial testing with D-dimer or ultrasound (US) of the proximal veins over no diagnostic testing (Grade 1B), venography (Grade 1B), or whole-leg US (Grade 2B). In patients with moderate pretest probability, we recommend initial testing with a highly sensitive D-dimer, proximal compression US, or whole-leg US rather than no testing (Grade 1B) or venography (Grade 1B). In patients with a high pretest probability, we recommend proximal compression or whole-leg US over no testing (Grade 1B) or venography (Grade 1B).

Conclusions:  Favored strategies for diagnosis of first DVT combine use of pretest probability assessment, D-dimer, and US. There is lower-quality evidence available to guide diagnosis of recurrent DVT, upper extremity DVT, and DVT during pregnancy.

Chest. 2012;141(2_suppl):e419S-e494S. doi:10.1378/chest.11-2301
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Background:  This article addresses the treatment of VTE disease.

Methods:  We generated strong (Grade 1) and weak (Grade 2) recommendations based on high-quality (Grade A), moderate-quality (Grade B), and low-quality (Grade C) evidence.

Results:  For acute DVT or pulmonary embolism (PE), we recommend initial parenteral anticoagulant therapy (Grade 1B) or anticoagulation with rivaroxaban. We suggest low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) or fondaparinux over IV unfractionated heparin (Grade 2C) or subcutaneous unfractionated heparin (Grade 2B). We suggest thrombolytic therapy for PE with hypotension (Grade 2C). For proximal DVT or PE, we recommend treatment of 3 months over shorter periods (Grade 1B). For a first proximal DVT or PE that is provoked by surgery or by a nonsurgical transient risk factor, we recommend 3 months of therapy (Grade 1B; Grade 2B if provoked by a nonsurgical risk factor and low or moderate bleeding risk); that is unprovoked, we suggest extended therapy if bleeding risk is low or moderate (Grade 2B) and recommend 3 months of therapy if bleeding risk is high (Grade 1B); and that is associated with active cancer, we recommend extended therapy (Grade 1B; Grade 2B if high bleeding risk) and suggest LMWH over vitamin K antagonists (Grade 2B). We suggest vitamin K antagonists or LMWH over dabigatran or rivaroxaban (Grade 2B). We suggest compression stockings to prevent the postthrombotic syndrome (Grade 2B). For extensive superficial vein thrombosis, we suggest prophylactic-dose fondaparinux or LMWH over no anticoagulation (Grade 2B), and suggest fondaparinux over LMWH (Grade 2C).

Conclusion:  Strong recommendations apply to most patients, whereas weak recommendations are sensitive to differences among patients, including their preferences.

Chest. 2012;141(2_suppl):e495S-e530S. doi:10.1378/chest.11-2303
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Background:  Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) is an antibody-mediated adverse drug reaction that can lead to devastating thromboembolic complications, including pulmonary embolism, ischemic limb necrosis necessitating limb amputation, acute myocardial infarction, and stroke.

Methods:  The methods of this guideline follow the Methodology for the Development of Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis Guidelines: Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis, 9th ed: American College of Chest Physicians Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines in this supplement.

Results:  Among the key recommendations for this article are the following: For patients receiving heparin in whom clinicians consider the risk of HIT to be > 1%, we suggest that platelet count monitoring be performed every 2 or 3 days from day 4 to day 14 (or until heparin is stopped, whichever occurs first) (Grade 2C). For patients receiving heparin in whom clinicians consider the risk of HIT to be < 1%, we suggest that platelet counts not be monitored (Grade 2C). In patients with HIT with thrombosis (HITT) or isolated HIT who have normal renal function, we suggest the use of argatroban or lepirudin or danaparoid over other nonheparin anticoagulants (Grade 2C). In patients with HITT and renal insufficiency, we suggest the use of argatroban over other nonheparin anticoagulants (Grade 2C). In patients with acute HIT or subacute HIT who require urgent cardiac surgery, we suggest the use of bivalirudin over other nonheparin anticoagulants or heparin plus antiplatelet agents (Grade 2C).

Conclusions:  Further studies evaluating the role of fondaparinux and the new oral anticoagulants in the treatment of HIT are needed.

Chest. 2012;141(2_suppl):e531S-e575S. doi:10.1378/chest.11-2304
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Background:  The risk of stroke varies considerably across different groups of patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). Antithrombotic prophylaxis for stroke is associated with an increased risk of bleeding. We provide recommendations for antithrombotic treatment based on net clinical benefit for patients with AF at varying levels of stroke risk and in a number of common clinical scenarios.

Methods:  We used the methods described in the Methodology for the Development of Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis Guidelines: Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis, 9th ed: American College of Chest Physicians Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines article of this supplement.

Results:  For patients with nonrheumatic AF, including those with paroxysmal AF, who are (1) at low risk of stroke (eg, CHADS2 [congestive heart failure, hypertension, age ≥ 75 years, diabetes mellitus, prior stroke or transient ischemic attack] score of 0), we suggest no therapy rather than antithrombotic therapy, and for patients choosing antithrombotic therapy, we suggest aspirin rather than oral anticoagulation or combination therapy with aspirin and clopidogrel; (2) at intermediate risk of stroke (eg, CHADS2 score of 1), we recommend oral anticoagulation rather than no therapy, and we suggest oral anticoagulation rather than aspirin or combination therapy with aspirin and clopidogrel; and (3) at high risk of stroke (eg, CHADS2 score of ≥ 2), we recommend oral anticoagulation rather than no therapy, aspirin, or combination therapy with aspirin and clopidogrel. Where we recommend or suggest in favor of oral anticoagulation, we suggest dabigatran 150 mg bid rather than adjusted-dose vitamin K antagonist therapy.

Conclusions:  Oral anticoagulation is the optimal choice of antithrombotic therapy for patients with AF at high risk of stroke (CHADS2 score of ≥ 2). At lower levels of stroke risk, antithrombotic treatment decisions will require a more individualized approach.

Chest. 2012;141(2_suppl):e576S-e600S. doi:10.1378/chest.11-2305
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Background:  Antithrombotic therapy in valvular disease is important to mitigate thromboembolism, but the hemorrhagic risk imposed must be considered.

Methods:  The methods of this guideline follow those described in Methodology for the Development of Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis Guidelines. Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis, 9th ed: American College of Chest Physicians Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines in this supplement.

Results:  In rheumatic mitral disease, we recommend vitamin K antagonist (VKA) therapy when the left atrial diameter is > 55 mm (Grade 2C) or when complicated by left atrial thrombus (Grade 1A). In candidates for percutaneous mitral valvotomy with left atrial thrombus, we recommend VKA therapy until thrombus resolution, and we recommend abandoning valvotomy if the thrombus fails to resolve (Grade 1A). In patients with patent foramen ovale (PFO) and stroke or transient ischemic attack, we recommend initial aspirin therapy (Grade 1B) and suggest substitution of VKA if recurrence (Grade 2C). In patients with cryptogenic stroke and DVT and a PFO, we recommend VKA therapy for 3 months (Grade 1B) and consideration of PFO closure (Grade 2C). We recommend against the use of anticoagulant (Grade 1C) and antiplatelet therapy (Grade 1B) for native valve endocarditis. We suggest holding VKA therapy until the patient is stabilized without neurologic complications for infective endocarditis of a prosthetic valve (Grade 2C). In the first 3 months after bioprosthetic valve implantation, we recommend aspirin for aortic valves (Grade 2C), the addition of clopidogrel to aspirin if the aortic valve is transcatheter (Grade 2C), and VKA therapy with a target international normalized ratio (INR) of 2.5 for mitral valves (Grade 2C). After 3 months, we suggest aspirin therapy (Grade 2C). We recommend early bridging of mechanical valve patients to VKA therapy with unfractionated heparin (DVT dosing) or low-molecular-weight heparin (Grade 2C). We recommend long-term VKA therapy for all mechanical valves (Grade 1B): target INR 2.5 for aortic (Grade 1B) and 3.0 for mitral or double valve (Grade 2C). In patients with mechanical valves at low bleeding risk, we suggest the addition of low-dose aspirin (50-100 mg/d) (Grade 1B). In valve repair patients, we suggest aspirin therapy (Grade 2C). In patients with thrombosed prosthetic valve, we recommend fibrinolysis for right-sided valves and left-sided valves with thrombus area < 0.8 cm2 (Grade 2C). For patients with left-sided prosthetic valve thrombosis and thrombus area ≥ 0.8 cm2, we recommend early surgery (Grade 2C).

Conclusions:  These antithrombotic guidelines provide recommendations based on the optimal balance of thrombotic and hemorrhagic risk.

Chest. 2012;141(2_suppl):e601S-e636S. doi:10.1378/chest.11-2302
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Objectives:  This article provides recommendations on the use of antithrombotic therapy in patients with stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA).

Methods:  We generated treatment recommendations (Grade 1) and suggestions (Grade 2) based on high (A), moderate (B), and low (C) quality evidence.

Results:  In patients with acute ischemic stroke, we recommend IV recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (r-tPA) if treatment can be initiated within 3 h (Grade 1A) or 4.5 h (Grade 2C) of symptom onset; we suggest intraarterial r-tPA in patients ineligible for IV tPA if treatment can be initiated within 6 h (Grade 2C); we suggest against the use of mechanical thrombectomy (Grade 2C) although carefully selected patients may choose this intervention; and we recommend early aspirin therapy at a dose of 160 to 325 mg (Grade 1A). In patients with acute stroke and restricted mobility, we suggest the use of prophylactic-dose heparin or intermittent pneumatic compression devices (Grade 2B) and suggest against the use of elastic compression stockings (Grade 2B). In patients with a history of noncardioembolic ischemic stroke or TIA, we recommend long-term treatment with aspirin (75-100 mg once daily), clopidogrel (75 mg once daily), aspirin/extended release dipyridamole (25 mg/200 mg bid), or cilostazol (100 mg bid) over no antiplatelet therapy (Grade 1A), oral anticoagulants (Grade 1B), the combination of clopidogrel plus aspirin (Grade 1B), or triflusal (Grade 2B). Of the recommended antiplatelet regimens, we suggest clopidogrel or aspirin/extended-release dipyridamole over aspirin (Grade 2B) or cilostazol (Grade 2C). In patients with a history of stroke or TIA and atrial fibrillation we recommend oral anticoagulation over no antithrombotic therapy, aspirin, and combination therapy with aspirin and clopidogrel (Grade 1B).

Conclusions:  These recommendations can help clinicians make evidence-based treatment decisions with their patients who have had strokes.

Chest. 2012;141(2_suppl):e637S-e668S. doi:10.1378/chest.11-2306
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Background:  This guideline focuses on long-term administration of antithrombotic drugs designed for primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease, including two new antiplatelet therapies.

Methods:  The methods of this guideline follow those described in Methodology for the Development of Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis Guidelines: Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis, 9th ed: American College of Chest Physicians Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines in this supplement.

Results:  We present 23 recommendations for pertinent clinical questions. For primary prevention of cardiovascular disease, we suggest low-dose aspirin (75-100 mg/d) in patients aged > 50 years over no aspirin therapy (Grade 2B). For patients with established coronary artery disease, defined as patients 1-year post-acute coronary syndrome, with prior revascularization, coronary stenoses > 50% by coronary angiogram, and/or evidence for cardiac ischemia on diagnostic testing, we recommend long-term low-dose aspirin or clopidogrel (75 mg/d) (Grade 1A). For patients with acute coronary syndromes who undergo percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) with stent placement, we recommend for the first year dual antiplatelet therapy with low-dose aspirin in combination with ticagrelor 90 mg bid, clopidogrel 75 mg/d, or prasugrel 10 mg/d over single antiplatelet therapy (Grade 1B). For patients undergoing elective PCI with stent placement, we recommend aspirin (75-325 mg/d) and clopidogrel for a minimum duration of 1 month (bare-metal stents) or 3 to 6 months (drug-eluting stents) (Grade 1A). We suggest continuing low-dose aspirin plus clopidogrel for 12 months for all stents (Grade 2C). Thereafter, we recommend single antiplatelet therapy over continuation of dual antiplatelet therapy (Grade 1B).

Conclusions:  Recommendations continue to favor single antiplatelet therapy for patients with established coronary artery disease. For patients with acute coronary syndromes or undergoing elective PCI with stent placement, dual antiplatelet therapy for up to 1 year is warranted.

Chest. 2012;141(2_suppl):e669S-e690S. doi:10.1378/chest.11-2307
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Background:  This guideline focuses on antithrombotic drug therapies for primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease as well as for the relief of lower-extremity symptoms and critical ischemia in persons with peripheral arterial disease (PAD).

Methods:  The methods of this guideline follow those described in Methodology for the Development of Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis Guidelines: Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis, 9th ed: American College of Chest Physicians Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines in this supplement.

Results:  The most important of our 20 recommendations are as follows. In patients aged ≥ 50 years with asymptomatic PAD or asymptomatic carotid stenosis, we suggest aspirin (75-100 mg/d) over no therapy (Grade 2B) for the primary prevention of cardiovascular events. For secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease in patients with symptomatic PAD (including patients before and after peripheral arterial bypass surgery or percutaneous transluminal angioplasty), we recommend long-term aspirin (75-100 mg/d) or clopidogrel (75 mg/d) (Grade 1A). We recommend against the use of warfarin plus aspirin in patients with symptomatic PAD (Grade 1B). For patients undergoing peripheral artery percutaneous transluminal angioplasty with stenting, we suggest single rather than dual antiplatelet therapy (Grade 2C). For patients with refractory claudication despite exercise therapy and smoking cessation, we suggest addition of cilostazol (100 mg bid) to aspirin (75-100 mg/d) or clopidogrel (75 mg/d) (Grade 2C). In patients with critical limb ischemia and rest pain unable to undergo revascularization, we suggest the use of prostanoids (Grade 2C). In patients with acute limb ischemia due to acute thrombosis or embolism, we recommend surgery over peripheral arterial thrombolysis (Grade 1B).

Conclusions:  Recommendations continue to favor single antiplatelet therapy for primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular events in most patients with asymptomatic PAD, symptomatic PAD, and asymptomatic carotid stenosis. Additional therapies for relief of limb symptoms should be considered only after exercise therapy, smoking cessation, and evaluation for peripheral artery revascularization.

Chest. 2012;141(2_suppl):e691S-e736S. doi:10.1378/chest.11-2300
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Background:  The use of anticoagulant therapy during pregnancy is challenging because of the potential for both fetal and maternal complications. This guideline focuses on the management of VTE and thrombophilia as well as the use of antithrombotic agents during pregnancy.

Methods:  The methods of this guideline follow the Methodology for the Development of Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis Guidelines: Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis, 9th ed: American College of Chest Physicians Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines in this supplement.

Results:  We recommend low-molecular-weight heparin for the prevention and treatment of VTE in pregnant women instead of unfractionated heparin (Grade 1B). For pregnant women with acute VTE, we suggest that anticoagulants be continued for at least 6 weeks postpartum (for a minimum duration of therapy of 3 months) compared with shorter durations of treatment (Grade 2C). For women who fulfill the laboratory criteria for antiphospholipid antibody (APLA) syndrome and meet the clinical APLA criteria based on a history of three or more pregnancy losses, we recommend antepartum administration of prophylactic or intermediate-dose unfractionated heparin or prophylactic low-molecular-weight heparin combined with low-dose aspirin (75-100 mg/d) over no treatment (Grade 1B). For women with inherited thrombophilia and a history of pregnancy complications, we suggest not to use antithrombotic prophylaxis (Grade 2C). For women with two or more miscarriages but without APLA or thrombophilia, we recommend against antithrombotic prophylaxis (Grade 1B).

Conclusions:  Most recommendations in this guideline are based on observational studies and extrapolation from other populations. There is an urgent need for appropriately designed studies in this population.

Chest. 2012;141(2_suppl):e737S-e801S. doi:10.1378/chest.11-2308
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Background:  Neonates and children differ from adults in physiology, pharmacologic responses to drugs, epidemiology, and long-term consequences of thrombosis. This guideline addresses optimal strategies for the management of thrombosis in neonates and children.

Methods:  The methods of this guideline follow those described in the Methodology for the Development of Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis Guidelines: Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis, 9th ed: American College of Chest Physicians Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines.

Results:  We suggest that where possible, pediatric hematologists with experience in thromboembolism manage pediatric patients with thromboembolism (Grade 2C). When this is not possible, we suggest a combination of a neonatologist/pediatrician and adult hematologist supported by consultation with an experienced pediatric hematologist (Grade 2C). We suggest that therapeutic unfractionated heparin in children is titrated to achieve a target anti-Xa range of 0.35 to 0.7 units/mL or an activated partial thromboplastin time range that correlates to this anti-Xa range or to a protamine titration range of 0.2 to 0.4 units/mL (Grade 2C). For neonates and children receiving either daily or bid therapeutic low-molecular-weight heparin, we suggest that the drug be monitored to a target range of 0.5 to 1.0 units/mL in a sample taken 4 to 6 h after subcutaneous injection or, alternatively, 0.5 to 0.8 units/mL in a sample taken 2 to 6 h after subcutaneous injection (Grade 2C).

Conclusions:  The evidence supporting most recommendations for antithrombotic therapy in neonates and children remains weak. Studies addressing appropriate drug target ranges and monitoring requirements are urgently required in addition to site- and clinical situation-specific thrombosis management strategies.

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  • CHEST Journal
    Print ISSN: 0012-3692
    Online ISSN: 1931-3543