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Chest. 2004;126(3_suppl):163S-166S. doi:10.1378/chest.126.3_suppl.163S
Chest. 2004;126(3_suppl):167S-171S. doi:10.1378/chest.126.3_suppl.167S
Chest. 2004;126(3_suppl):172S-173S. doi:10.1378/chest.126.3_suppl.172S

Since the Sixth American College of Chest Physicians Consensus Conference on Antithrombotic Therapy, the results of clinical trials have provided important new information on the management of thromboembolic disorders, and the science of developing recommendations has advanced. In the accompanying supplement, we provide the new and previously existing recommendations and review several important changes that we have made in our guideline development process. We made a conscious effort to increase the participation of female authors and of contributors from outside North America, with the latter reflecting the widespread use and dissemination of these guidelines internationally. The change in the title from a conference emphasizing consensus to “ACCP Conference on Antithrombotic and Thrombolytic Therapy: Evidence-Based Guidelines” reflects the evidence-based approach to making recommendations. The recommendations follow the grading system described in the 2001 recommendations. If the guideline developers are very certain that benefits do, or do not, outweigh risks, burdens, and costs, they will make a strong recommendation (in our formulation, Grade 1). If they are less certain of the magnitude of the benefits and the risks, burdens, and costs, and thus of their relative impact, they make a weaker Grade 2 recommendation. Consistent results from RCTs generate Grade A recommendations, observational studies with very strong effects or secure generalizations from randomized clinical trials (RCTs) generate Grade C+ recommendations, inconsistent results from RCTs generate Grade B recommendations, and observational studies generate Grade C recommendations. We now use the language “we recommend” for strong recommendations (ie, Grades 1A, 1C+, 1B, and 1C) and “we suggest” for weaker recommendations (ie, Grades 2A, 2C+, 2B, and 2C). While evidence on which recommendation are made remains weak in the fields of pediatric thrombosis, thrombosis in pregnancy, and thrombosis in valvular heart disease, rigorous studies in other fields have resulted in new and strong evidence-based recommendations for many indications.

Chest. 2004;126(3_suppl):174S-178S. doi:10.1378/chest.126.3_suppl.174S

This article describes the methodology for the Seventh American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) Conference on Antithrombotic and Thrombolytic Therapy: Evidence-Based Guidelines. Guideline authors began by specifying the population, the intervention and alternative, and the outcomes for each clinical question, and defined the criteria for eligible articles, including methodological criteria, for each recommendation. Librarians, in collaboration with guideline authors and methodologists, conducted systematic searches for evidence. Guideline authors systematically evaluated the evidence, considered the full range of benefits, risks, inconvenience, and costs associated with alternative management strategies, considered patients’ underlying values and preferences, and made recommendations accordingly. To increase the likelihood that the recommendations adequately represent patient values and preferences, the development process included a review of recommendations by research methodologists, practicing generalists, and specialists. Chapters are organized so that evidence is clearly linked to the relevant recommendations, and that recommendations particularly sensitive to underlying values and preferences are explicitly identified. Authors paid careful attention to the strength of the underlying evidence and to the balance between risks and benefits, which are both reflected in the grades of recommendations. Thus, improvements to the process of making recommendations for the ACCP guidelines include the explicit definition of questions, transparent eligibility criteria for including studies, and the specification of values and preferences underlying recommendations where they are particularly relevant. In combination with our previous practice of grading recommendations according to their strength, and the methodological quality of the supporting studies, these innovations establish our guidelines as, by and large, evidence based.

Chest. 2004;126(3_suppl):179S-187S. doi:10.1378/chest.126.3_suppl.179S

This article about the grades of recommendation for antithrombotic and thrombolytic therapy is part of the Seventh American College of Chest Physicians Conference on Antithrombotic and Thrombolytic Therapy: Evidence-Based Guidelines. Clinicians need to know whether a recommendation is strong or weak, and about the methodological quality of the evidence underlying that recommendation. We determine the strength of a recommendation by considering the trade-off between the benefits of a treatment, on the one hand, and the risks, burdens, and costs on the other. Here, as elsewhere, we assume that a recommended treatment will increase costs (we recognize this is not always the case, but for simplicity we will continue to make this assumption). If the benefits outweigh the risks, burdens, and costs, we recommend that clinicians offer a treatment to typical patients. The uncertainty associated with the trade-off between the benefits and the risks, burdens, and costs will determine the strength of the recommendations. If we are very certain that the benefits do, or do not, outweigh the risks, burdens, and costs, we make a strong recommendation (in our formulation, Grade 1). If we are less certain of the magnitude of the benefits and the risks, burdens, and costs, and thus of their relative impact, we make a weaker Grade 2 recommendation. We grade the methodological quality of a recommendation according to the following criteria. Randomized clinical trials (RCTs) with consistent results provide evidence with a low likelihood of bias, which we classify as Grade A recommendations. RCTs with inconsistent results, or with major methodological weaknesses, warrant Grade B recommendations. Grade C recommendations come from observational studies or from a generalization from one group of patients included in randomized trials to a different, but somewhat similar, group of patients who did not participate in those trials. When we find the generalization from RCTs to be secure, or the data from observational studies overwhelmingly compelling, we choose a Grade C+. When that is not the case, we designate methodological quality as Grade C.

Chest. 2004;126(3_suppl):188S-203S. doi:10.1378/chest.126.3_suppl.188S

This article about unfractionated heparin (UFH) and low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) is part of the Seventh American College of Chest Physicians Conference on Antithrombotic and Thrombolytic Therapy: Evidence-Based Guidelines. UFH is a heterogeneous mixture of glycosaminoglycans that bind to antithrombin via a pentasaccharide, catalyzing the inactivation of thrombin and other clotting factors. UFH also binds endothelial cells, platelet factor 4, and platelets, leading to rather unpredictable pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties. Variability in activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) reagents necessitates site-specific validation of the aPTT therapeutic range in order to properly monitor UFH therapy. Lack of validation has been an oversight in many clinical trials comparing UFH to LMWH. In patients with apparent heparin resistance, anti-factor Xa monitoring may be superior to measurement of aPTT. LMWHs lack the nonspecific binding affinities of UFH, and, as a result, LMWH preparations have more predictable pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties. LMWHs have replaced UFH for most clinical indications for the following reasons: (1) these properties allow LMWHs to be administered subcutaneously, once daily without laboratory monitoring; and (2) the evidence from clinical trials that LMWH is as least as effective as and is safer than UFH. Several clinical issues regarding the use of LMWHs remain unanswered. These relate to the need for monitoring with an anti-factor Xa assay in patients with severe obesity or renal insufficiency. The therapeutic range for anti-factor Xa activity depends on the dosing interval. Anti-factor Xa monitoring is prudent when administering weight-based doses of LMWH to patients who weigh > 150 kg. It has been determined that UFH infusion is preferable to LMWH injection in patients with creatinine clearance of < 25 mL/min, until further data on therapeutic dosing of LMWHs in renal failure have been published. However, when administered in low doses prophylactically, LMWH is safe for therapy in patients with renal failure. Protamine may help to reverse bleeding related to LWMH, although anti-factor Xa activity is not fully normalized by protamine. The synthetic pentasaccharide fondaparinux is a promising new antithrombotic agent for the prevention and treatment of venous thromboembolism.

Chest. 2004;126(3_suppl):204S-233S. doi:10.1378/chest.126.3_suppl.204S

This article concerning the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) is part of the Seventh American College of Chest Physicians Conference on Antithrombotic and Thrombolytic Therapy: Evidence-Based Guidelines. The article describes the antithrombotic effect of VKAs, the monitoring of anticoagulation intensity, the clinical applications of VKA therapy, and the optimal therapeutic range of VKAs, and provides specific management recommendations. Grade 1 recommendations are strong, and indicate that the benefits do, or do not, outweigh the risks, burdens, and costs. Grade 2 suggests that individual patient’s values may lead to different choices (for a full understanding of the grading see Guyatt et al, CHEST 2004; 126:179S–187S). Among the key recommendations in this article are the following: for dosing of VKAs, we suggest the initiation of oral anticoagulation therapy with doses between 5 and 10 mg for the first 1 or 2 days for most individuals, with subsequent dosing based on the international normalized ratio (INR) response (Grade 2B). In the elderly and in other patient subgroups with an elevated bleeding risk, we suggest a starting dose at ≤ 5 mg (Grade 2C). We recommend basing subsequent doses after the initial two or three doses on the results of INR monitoring (Grade 1C). The article also includes several specific recommendations for the management of patients with INRs above the therapeutic range and for patients requiring invasive procedures. For example, in patients with mild to moderately elevated INRs without major bleeding, we suggest that when vitamin K is to be given it be administered orally rather than subcutaneously (Grade 1A). For the management of patients with a low risk of thromboembolism, we suggest stopping warfarin therapy approximately 4 days before they undergo surgery (Grade 2C). For patients with a high risk of thromboembolism, we suggest stopping warfarin therapy approximately 4 days before surgery, to allow the INR to return to normal, and beginning therapy with full-dose unfractionated heparin or full-dose low-molecular-weight heparin as the INR falls (Grade 2C). In patients undergoing dental procedures, we suggest the use of tranexamic acid mouthwash (Grade 2B) or epsilon amino caproic acid mouthwash without interrupting anticoagulant therapy (Grade 2B) if there is a concern for local bleeding. For most patients who have a lupus inhibitor, we suggest a therapeutic target INR of 2.5 (range, 2.0 to 3.0) [Grade 2B]. In patients with recurrent thromboembolic events with a therapeutic INR or other additional risk factors, we suggest a target INR of 3.0 (range, 2.5 to 3.5) [Grade 2C]. As models of anticoagulation monitoring and management, we recommend that clinicians incorporate patient education, systematic INR testing, tracking, and follow-up, and good communication with patients concerning results and dosing decisions (Grade 1C+).

Chest. 2004;126(3_suppl):234S-264S. doi:10.1378/chest.126.3_suppl.234S

This article discusses platelet active drugs as part of the Seventh American College of Chest Physicians Conference on Antithrombotic and Thrombolytic Therapy: Evidence-Based Guidelines. New data on antiplatelet agents include the following: (1) the role of aspirin in primary prevention has been the subject of recommendations based on the assessment of cardiovascular risk; (2) an increasing number of reports suggest a substantial interindividual variability in the response to antiplatelet agents, and various phenomena of “resistance” to the antiplatelet effects of aspirin and clopidogrel; (3) the benefit/risk profile of currently available glycoprotein IIb/IIIa antagonists is substantially uncertain for patients with acute coronary syndromes who are not routinely scheduled for early revascularization; (4) there is an expanding role for the combination of aspirin and clopidogrel in the long-term management of high-risk patients; and (5) the cardiovascular effects of selective and nonselective cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors have been the subject of increasing attention.

Chest. 2004;126(3_suppl):265S-286S. doi:10.1378/chest.126.3_suppl.265S

This article about new anticoagulant drugs is part of the seventh American College of Chest Physicians Conference on Antithrombotic and Thrombolytic Therapy: Evidence-Based Guidelines. The limitations of existing oral and parenteral anticoagulant agents have prompted a search for novel agents. Focusing on new anticoagulant drugs for the prevention and treatment of arterial and venous thrombosis, this article (1) reviews arterial and venous thrombogenesis, (2) discusses the regulation of coagulation, (3) describes the pathways for testing new anticoagulant agents, (4) describes new anticoagulant strategies focusing primarily on agents in phase II or III clinical testing, and (5) provides clinical perspective as to which of these new strategies is most likely to succeed.

Chest. 2004;126(3_suppl):287S-310S. doi:10.1378/chest.126.3_suppl.287S

This chapter about hemorrhagic complications of anticoagulant treatment is part of the seventh ACCP Conference on Antithrombotic and Thrombolytic Therapy: Evidence Based Guidelines. Bleeding is the major complication of anticoagulant therapy. The criteria for defining the severity of bleeding varies considerably between studies, accounting in part for the variation in the rates of bleeding reported. The major determinants of vitamin K antagonist-induced bleeding are the intensity of the anticoagulant effect, underlying patient characteristics, and the length of therapy. There is good evidence that vitamin K antagonist therapy, targeted international normalized ratio (INR) of 2.5 (range, 2.0 to 3.0), is associated with a lower risk of bleeding than therapy targeted at an INR > 3.0. The risk of bleeding associated with IV unfractionated heparin (UFH) in patients with acute venous thromboembolism (VTE) is < 3% in recent trials. This bleeding risk may increase with increasing heparin dosages and age (> 70 years). Low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) is associated with less major bleeding compared with UFH in acute VTE. UFH and LMWH are not associated with an increase in major bleeding in ischemic coronary syndromes, but are associated with an increase in major bleeding in ischemic stroke. Information on bleeding associated with the newer generation of antithrombotic agents has begun to emerge. In terms of treatment decision making for anticoagulant therapy, bleeding risk cannot be considered alone, ie, the potential decrease in thromboembolism must be balanced against the potential increased bleeding risk.

Chest. 2004;126(3_suppl):311S-337S. doi:10.1378/chest.126.3_suppl.311S

This chapter about the recognition, treatment, and prevention of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) is part of the Seventh ACCP Conference on Antithrombotic and Thrombolytic Therapy: Evidence Based Guidelines. Grade 1 recommendations are strong and indicate that the benefits do, or do not, outweigh risks, burden, and costs. Grade 2 suggests that individual patients’ values may lead to different choices (for a full understanding of the grading, see Guyatt et al, CHEST 2004; 126:179S–187S). Among the key recommendations in this chapter are the following: For patients in whom the risk of HIT is considered to be > 0.1%, we recommend platelet count monitoring (Grade 1C). For patients who are receiving therapeutic-dose unfractionated heparin (UFH), we suggest at least every-other-day platelet count monitoring until day 14, or until UFH is stopped, whichever occurs first (Grade 2C). For patients who are receiving postoperative antithrombotic prophylaxis with UFH (HIT risk > 1%), we suggest at least every-other-day platelet count monitoring between postoperative days 4 to 14 (or until UFH is stopped, whichever occurs first) [Grade 2C]. For medical/obstetric patients who are receiving prophylactic-dose UFH, postoperative patients receiving prophylactic-dose low molecular weight heparin (LMWH), postoperative patients receiving intravascular catheter UFH “flushes,” or medical/obstetrical patients receiving LMWH after first receiving UFH (risk, 0.1 to 1%), we suggest platelet count monitoring every 2 days or 3 days from day 4 to day 14, or until heparin is stopped, whichever occurs first (Grade 2C). For medical/obstetrical patients who are only receiving LMWH, or medical patients who are receiving only intravascular catheter UFH flushes (risk < 0.1%), we suggest clinicians do not use routine platelet count monitoring (Grade 2C). For patients with strongly suspected (or confirmed) HIT, whether or not complicated by thrombosis, we recommend use of an alternative anticoagulant, such as lepirudin (Grade 1C+), argatroban (Grade 1C), bivalirudin (Grade 2C), or danaparoid (Grade 1B). For patients with strongly suspected (or confirmed) HIT, we recommend routine ultrasonography of the lower-limb veins for investigation of deep venous thrombosis (Grade 1C); against the use of vitamin K antagonist (VKA) [coumarin] therapy until after the platelet count has substantially recovered; that the VKA antagonist be administered only during overlapping alternative anticoagulation (minimum 5-day overlap); and begun with low, maintenance doses (all Grade 1C). For patients receiving VKAs at the time of diagnosis of HIT, we recommend use of vitamin K (Grade 2C). For patients with a history of HIT who are HIT antibody negative and require cardiac surgery, we recommend use of UFH (Grade 1C). [Editor's note: These Grades have been changed as an erratum to the original printed version of this article.]

Chest. 2004;126(3_suppl):338S-400S. doi:10.1378/chest.126.3_suppl.338S

This article discusses the prevention of venous thromboembolism (VTE) and is part of the Seventh American College of Chest Physicians Conference on Antithrombotic and Thrombolytic Therapy: Evidence-Based Guidelines. Grade 1 recommendations are strong and indicate that the benefits do, or do not, outweigh risks, burden, and costs. Grade 2 suggests that individual patients’ values may lead to different choices (for a full understanding of the grading see Guyatt et al, CHEST 2004; 126:179S–187S). Among the key recommendations in this chapter are the following. We recommend against the use of aspirin alone as thromboprophylaxis for any patient group (Grade 1A). For moderate-risk general surgery patients, we recommend prophylaxis with low-dose unfractionated heparin (LDUH) (5,000 U bid) or low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) [≤ 3,400 U once daily] (both Grade 1A). For higher risk general surgery patients, we recommend thromboprophylaxis with LDUH (5,000 U tid) or LMWH (> 3,400 U daily) [both Grade 1A]. For high-risk general surgery patients with multiple risk factors, we recommend combining pharmacologic methods (LDUH three times daily or LMWH, > 3,400 U daily) with the use of graduated compression stockings and/or intermittent pneumatic compression devices (Grade 1C+). We recommend that thromboprophylaxis be used in all patients undergoing major gynecologic surgery (Grade 1A) or major, open urologic procedures, and we recommend prophylaxis with LDUH two times or three times daily (Grade 1A). For patients undergoing elective total hip or knee arthroplasty, we recommend one of the following three anticoagulant agents: LMWH, fondaparinux, or adjusted-dose vitamin K antagonist (VKA) [international normalized ratio (INR) target, 2.5; range, 2.0 to 3.0] (all Grade 1A). For patients undergoing hip fracture surgery (HFS), we recommend the routine use of fondaparinux (Grade 1A), LMWH (Grade 1C+), VKA (target INR, 2.5; range, 2.0 to 3.0) [Grade 2B], or LDUH (Grade 1B). We recommend that patients undergoing hip or knee arthroplasty, or HFS receive thromboprophylaxis for at least 10 days (Grade 1A). We recommend that all trauma patients with at least one risk factor for VTE receive thromboprophylaxis (Grade 1A). In acutely ill medical patients who have been admitted to the hospital with congestive heart failure or severe respiratory disease, or who are confined to bed and have one or more additional risk factors, we recommend prophylaxis with LDUH (Grade 1A) or LMWH (Grade 1A). We recommend, on admission to the intensive care unit, all patients be assessed for their risk of VTE. Accordingly, most patients should receive thromboprophylaxis (Grade 1A).

Chest. 2004;126(3_suppl):401S-428S. doi:10.1378/chest.126.3_suppl.401S

This chapter about antithrombotic therapy for venous thromboembolic disease is part of the seventh ACCP Conference on Antithrombotic and Thrombolytic Therapy: Evidence Based Guidelines. Grade 1 recommendations are strong and indicate that the benefits do, or do not, outweigh risks, burden, and costs. Grade 2 suggests that individual patients’ values may lead to different choices (for a full understanding of the grading see Guyatt et al, CHEST 2004; 126:179S–187S). Among the key recommendations in this chapter are the following: for patients with objectively confirmed deep vein thrombosis (DVT), we recommend short-term treatment with subcutaneous (SC) low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) or, alternatively, IV unfractionated heparin (UFH) [both Grade 1A]. For patients with a high clinical suspicion of DVT, we recommend treatment with anticoagulants while awaiting the outcome of diagnostic tests (Grade 1C+). In acute DVT, we recommend initial treatment with LMWH or UFH for at least 5 days (Grade 1C), initiation of vitamin K antagonist (VKA) together with LMWH or UFH on the first treatment day, and discontinuation of heparin when the international normalized ratio (INR) is stable and > 2.0 (Grade 1A). For the duration and intensity of treatment for acute DVT of the leg, the recommendations include the following: for patients with a first episode of DVT secondary to a transient (reversible) risk factor, we recommend long-term treatment with a VKA for 3 months over treatment for shorter periods (Grade 1A). For patients with a first episode of idiopathic DVT, we recommend treatment with a VKA for at least 6 to 12 months (Grade 1A). We recommend that the dose of VKA be adjusted to maintain a target INR of 2.5 (INR range, 2.0 to 3.0) for all treatment durations (Grade 1A). We recommend against high-intensity VKA therapy (INR range, 3.1 to 4.0) [Grade 1A] and against low-intensity therapy (INR range, 1.5 to 1.9) compared to INR range of 2.0 to 3.0 (Grade 1A). For the prevention of the postthrombotic syndrome, we recommend the use of an elastic compression stocking (Grade 1A). For patients with objectively confirmed nonmassive PE, we recommend acute treatment with SC LMWH or, alternatively, IV UFH (both Grade 1A). For most patients with pulmonary embolism (PE), we recommend clinicians not use systemic thrombolytic therapy (Grade 1A). For the duration and intensity of treatment for PE, the recommendations are similar to those for DVT.

Chest. 2004;126(3_suppl):429S-456S. doi:10.1378/chest.126.3_suppl.429S

This chapter about antithrombotic therapy in atrial fibrillation (AF) is part of the Seventh ACCP Conference on Antithrombotic and Thrombolytic Therapy: Evidence Based Guidelines. Grade 1 recommendations are strong and indicate that the benefits do, or do not, outweigh risks, burden, and costs. Grade 2 suggests that individual patients’ values may lead to different choices (for a full understanding of the grading see Guyatt et al, CHEST 2004; 126:179S–187S). Among the key recommendations in this chapter are the following (all vitamin K antagonist [VKA] recommendations have a target international normalized ratio [INR] of 2.5; range, 2.0 to 3.0): In patients with persistent or paroxysmal AF (PAF) [intermittent AF] at high risk of stroke (ie, having any of the following features: prior ischemic stroke, transient ischemic attack, or systemic embolism, age > 75 years, moderately or severely impaired left ventricular systolic function and/or congestive heart failure, history of hypertension, or diabetes mellitus), we recommend anticoagulation with an oral VKA, such as warfarin (Grade 1A). In patients with persistent AF or PAF, age 65 to 75 years, in the absence of other risk factors, we recommend antithrombotic therapy with either an oral VKA or aspirin, 325 mg/d, in this group of patients who are at intermediate risk of stroke (Grade 1A). In patients with persistent AF or PAF < 65 years old and with no other risk factors, we recommend aspirin, 325 mg/d (Grade 1B). For patients with AF and mitral stenosis, we recommend anticoagulation with an oral VKA (Grade 1C+). For patients with AF and prosthetic heart valves, we recommend anticoagulation with an oral VKA (Grade 1C+); the target INR may be increased and aspirin added depending on valve type and position, and on patient factors. For patients with AF of ≥ 48 h or of unknown duration for whom pharmacologic or electrical cardioversion is planned, we recommend anticoagulation with an oral VKA for 3 weeks before and for at least 4 weeks after successful cardioversion (Grade 1C+). For patients with AF of ≥ 48 h or of unknown duration undergoing pharmacologic or electrical cardioversion, an alternative strategy is anticoagulation and screening multiplane transesophageal echocardiography (Grade 1B). If no thrombus is seen and cardioversion is successful, we recommend anticoagulation for at least 4 weeks (Grade 1B). For patients with AF of known duration < 48 h, we suggest cardioversion without anticoagulation (Grade 2C). However, in patients without contraindications to anticoagulation, we suggest beginning IV heparin or low molecular weight heparin at presentation (Grade 2C).

Chest. 2004;126(3_suppl):457S-482S. doi:10.1378/chest.126.3_suppl.457S

This chapter about antithrombotic therapy in native and prosthetic valvular heart disease is part of the Seventh ACCP Conference on Antithrombotic and Thrombolytic Therapy: Evidence Based Guidelines. Grade 1 recommendations are strong and indicate that the benefits do, or do not, outweigh risks, burden, and costs. Grade 2 suggests that individual patients’ values may lead to different choices (for a full understanding of the grading see Guyatt et al, CHEST 2004; 126:179S–187S). Among the key recommendations in this chapter are the following: For patients with rheumatic mitral valve disease and atrial fibrillation (AF), or a history of previous systemic embolism, we recommend long-term oral anticoagulant (OAC) therapy (target international normalized ratio [INR], 2.5; range, 2.0 to 3.0) [Grade 1C+]. For patients with rheumatic mitral valve disease with AF or a history of systemic embolism who suffer systemic embolism while receiving OACs at a therapeutic INR, we recommend adding aspirin, 75 to 100 mg/d (Grade 1C). For those patients unable to take aspirin, we recommend adding dipyridamole, 400 mg/d, or clopidogrel (Grade 1C). In people with mitral valve prolapse (MVP) without history of systemic embolism, unexplained transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), or AF, we recommended against any antithrombotic therapy (Grade 1C). In patients with MVP and documented but unexplained TIAs, we recommend long-term aspirin therapy, 50 to 162 mg/d (Grade 1A). For all patients with mechanical prosthetic heart valves, we recommend vitamin K antagonists (Grade 1C+). For patients with a St. Jude Medical (St. Paul, MN) bileaflet valve in the aortic position, we recommend a target INR of 2.5 (range, 2.0 to 3.0) [Grade 1A]. For patients with tilting disk valves and bileaflet mechanical valves in the mitral position, we recommend a target INR of 3.0 (range, 2.5 to 3.5) [Grade 1C+]. For patients with caged ball or caged disk valves, we suggest a target INR of 3.0 (range, 2.5 to 3.5) in combination with aspirin, 75 to 100 mg/d (Grade 2A). For patients with bioprosthetic valves, we recommend vitamin K antagonists with a target INR of 2.5 (range, 2.0 to 3.0) for the first 3 months after valve insertion in the mitral position (Grade 1C+) and in the aortic position (Grade 2C). For patients with bioprosthetic valves who are in sinus rhythm and do not have AF, we recommend long-term (> 3 months) therapy with aspirin, 75 to 100 mg/d (Grade 1C+).

Chest. 2004;126(3_suppl):483S-512S. doi:10.1378/chest.126.3_suppl.483S

This chapter about treatment and prevention of stroke is part of the 7th ACCP Conference on Antithrombotic and Thrombolytic Therapy: Evidence Based Guidelines. Grade 1 recommendations are strong and indicate that the benefits do, or do not, outweigh risks, burden, and costs. Grade 2 suggests that individual patients’ values may lead to different choices (for a full understanding of the grading see Guyatt et al). Among the key recommendations in this chapter are the following: For patients with acute ischemic stroke (AIS), we recommend administration of IV tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), if treatment is initiated within 3 h of clearly defined symptom onset (Grade 1A). For patients with extensive and clearly identifiable hypodensity on CT, we recommend against thrombolytic therapy (Grade 1B). For unselected patients with AIS of > 3 h but < 6 h, we suggest clinicians not use IV tPA (Grade 2A). For patients with AIS, we recommend against streptokinase (Grade 1A) and suggest clinicians not use full-dose anticoagulation with IV or subcutaneous heparins or heparinoids (Grade 2B). For patients with AIS who are not receiving thrombolysis, we recommend early aspirin therapy, 160 to 325 mg qd (Grade 1A). For AIS patients with restricted mobility, we recommend prophylactic low-dose subcutaneous heparin or low molecular weight heparins or heparinoids (Grade 1A); and for patients who have contraindications to anticoagulants, we recommend use of intermittent pneumatic compression devices or elastic stockings (Grade 1C). In patients with acute intracerebral hematoma, we recommend the initial use of intermittent pneumatic compression (Grade 1C+). In patients with noncardioembolic stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) [ie, atherothrombotic, lacunar or cryptogenic], we recommend treatment with an antiplatelet agent (Grade 1A) including aspirin, 50 to 325 mg qd; the combination of aspirin and extended-release dipyridamole, 25 mg/200 mg bid; or clopidogrel, 75 mg qd. In these patients, we suggest use of the combination of aspirin and extended-release dipyridamole, 25/200 mg bid, over aspirin (Grade 2A) and clopidogrel over aspirin (Grade 2B). For patients who are allergic to aspirin, we recommend clopidogrel (Grade 1C+). In patients with atrial fibrillation and a recent stroke or TIA, we recommend long-term oral anticoagulation (target international normalized ratio, 2.5; range, 2.0 to 3.0) [Grade 1A]. In patients with venous sinus thrombosis, we recommend unfractionated heparin (Grade 1B) or low molecular weight heparin (Grade 1B) over no anticoagulant therapy during the acute phase.

Chest. 2004;126(3_suppl):513S-548S. doi:10.1378/chest.126.3_suppl.513S

This chapter about antithrombotic therapy for coronary artery disease (CAD) is part of the Seventh ACCP Conference on Antithrombotic and Thrombolytic Therapy: Evidence Based Guidelines. Grade 1 recommendations are strong and indicate that the benefits do, or do not, outweigh risks, burden, and costs. Grade 2 suggests that individual patients’ values may lead to different choices (for a full understanding of the grading see Guyatt et al, CHEST 2004; 126:179S–187S). Among the key recommendations in this chapter are the following: For patients presenting with non–ST-segment elevation (NSTE) acute coronary syndrome (ACS), we recommend immediate and then daily oral aspirin (Grade 1A). For patients with an aspirin allergy, we recommend immediate treatment with clopidogrel, 300-mg bolus po, followed by 75 mg/d indefinitely (Grade 1A). In all NSTE ACS patients in whom diagnostic catheterization will be delayed or when coronary bypass surgery will not occur until > 5 days, we recommend clopidogrel as bolus therapy (300 mg), followed by 75 mg/d for 9 to 12 months in addition to aspirin (Grade 1A). In NSTE ACS patients in whom angiography will take place within 24 h, we suggest beginning clopidogrel after the coronary anatomy has been determined (Grade 2A). For patients who have received clopidogrel and are scheduled for coronary bypass surgery, we recommend discontinuing clopidogrel for 5 days prior to the scheduled surgery (Grade 2A). In moderate- to high-risk patients presenting with NSTE ACS, we recommend either eptifibatide or tirofiban for initial (early) treatment in addition to treatment with aspirin and heparin (Grade 1A). For the acute treatment of NSTE ACS, we recommend low molecular weight heparins over unfractionated heparin (UFH) [Grade 1B] and UFH over no heparin therapy use with antiplatelet therapies (Grade 1A). We recommend against the direct thrombin inhibitors as routine initial antithrombin therapy (Grade 1B). For patients after myocardial infarction, after ACS, and with stable CAD, we recommend aspirin in doses from 75 to 325 mg as initial therapy and in doses of 75 to 162 mg as indefinite therapy (Grade 1A). For patients with contraindications to aspirin, we recommend long-term clopidogrel (Grade 1A). For primary prevention in patients with at least moderate risk for a coronary event, we recommend aspirin, 75 to 162 mg/d, over either no antithrombotic therapy or vitamin K antagonist (VKA) [Grade 2A]; for patients at particularly high risk of events in whom the international normalized ratio (INR) can be monitored without difficulty, we suggest low-dose VKA (target INR, 1.5) [Grade 2A].

Chest. 2004;126(3_suppl):549S-575S. doi:10.1378/chest.126.3_suppl.549S

This chapter about antithrombotic therapy for acute myocardial infarction (MI) is part of the Seventh ACCP Conference on Antithrombotic and Thrombolytic Therapy: Evidence Based Guidelines. Grade 1 recommendations are strong and indicate that the benefits do, or do not, outweigh risks, burden, and costs. Grade 2 suggests that individual patients’ values may lead to different choices (for a full understanding of the grading see Guyatt et al, CHEST 2004; 126:179S–187S). Among the key recommendations in this chapter are the following: For patients with ischemic symptoms characteristic of acute MI of < 12 h in duration, and ST-segment elevation or left bundle-branch block (of unknown duration) on the ECG, we recommend administration of any approved fibrinolytic agent (Grade 1A). We recommend the use of streptokinase, anistreplase, alteplase, reteplase, or tenecteplase over placebo (all Grade 1A). For patients with symptom duration < 6 h, we recommend the administration of alteplase over streptokinase (Grade 1A). For patients with known allergy or sensitivity to streptokinase, we recommend alteplase, reteplase, or tenecteplase (Grade 1A). For patients with acute posterior MI of < 12 h duration, we suggest fibrinolytic therapy (Grade 2C). In patients with any history of intracranial hemorrhage, closed head trauma, or ischemic stroke within past 3 months, we recommend against administration of fibrinolytic therapy (Grade 1C+). For patients with acute ST-segment elevation MI whether or not they receive fibrinolytic therapy, we recommend aspirin, 160 to 325 mg po, at initial evaluation by health-care personnel followed by indefinite therapy, 75 to 162 mg/d po (both Grade 1A). In patients allergic to aspirin, we suggest use of clopidogrel as an alternative therapy to aspirin (Grade 2C). For patients receiving streptokinase, we suggest administration of either IV unfractionated heparin (UFH) [Grade 2C] or subcutaneous UFH (Grade 2A). For all patients at high risk of systemic or venous thromboembolism (anterior MI, pump failure, previous embolus, atrial fibrillation, or left ventricular thrombus), we recommend administration of IV UFH while receiving streptokinase (Grade 1C+).

Chest. 2004;126(3_suppl):576S-599S. doi:10.1378/chest.126.3_suppl.576S

This chapter about antithrombotic therapy during percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is part of the seventh ACCP Conference on Antithrombotic and Thrombolytic Therapy: Evidence Based Guidelines. Grade 1 recommendations are strong and indicate that the benefits do, or do not, outweigh risks, burden, and costs. Grade 2 suggests that individual patients’ values may lead to different choices (for a full understanding of the grading, see Guyatt et al, CHEST 2004;126:179S–187S). Among the key recommendations in this chapter are the following: For patients undergoing PCI, we recommend pretreatment with aspirin, 75 to 325 mg (Grade 1A). For long-term treatment after PCI, we recommend aspirin, 75 to 162 mg/d (Grade 1A). For long-term treatment after PCI in patients who receive antithrombotic agents such as clopidogrel or warfarin, we recommend lower-dose aspirin, 75 to 100 mg/d (Grade 1C+). For patients who undergo stent placement, we recommend the combination of aspirin and a thienopyridine derivative (ticlopidine or clopidogrel) over systemic anticoagulation therapy (Grade 1A). We recommend clopidogrel over ticlopidine (Grade 1A). For all patients undergoing PCI, particularly those undergoing primary PCI, or those with refractory unstable angina or other high-risk features, we recommend use of a glycoprotein (GP) IIb-IIIa antagonist (abciximab or eptifibatide) [Grade 1A]. In patients undergoing PCI for ST-segment elevation MI, we recommend abciximab over eptifibatide (Grade 1B). In patients undergoing PCI, we recommend against the use of tirofiban as an alternative to abciximab (Grade 1A). In patients after uncomplicated PCI, we recommend against routine postprocedural infusion of heparin (Grade 1A). For patients undergoing PCI who are not treated with a GP IIb-IIIa antagonist, we recommend bivalirudin over heparin during PCI (Grade 1A). In PCI patients who are at low risk for complications, we recommend bivalirudin as an alternative to heparin as an adjunct to GP IIb-IIIa antagonists (Grade 1B). In PCI patients who are at high risk for bleeding, we recommend that bivalirudin over heparin as an adjunct to GP IIb-IIIa antagonists (Grade 1B). In patients who undergo PCI with no other indication for systemic anticoagulation therapy, we recommend against routine use of vitamin K antagonists after PCI (Grade 1A).

Chest. 2004;126(3_suppl):600S-608S. doi:10.1378/chest.126.3_suppl.600S

This chapter about prevention of coronary artery bypass occlusion is part of the Seventh ACCP Conference on Antithrombotic and Thrombolytic Therapy: Evidence Based Guidelines. Grade 1 recommendations are strong and indicate that the benefits do, or do not, outweigh risks, burden, and costs. Grade 2 suggests that individual patients’ values may lead to different choices (for a full understanding of the grading see Guyatt et al, CHEST 2004; 126:179S–187S). Among the key recommendations in this chapter are the following: For patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), we recommend aspirin, 75 to 162 mg/d, starting 6 h after operation over preoperative aspirin (Grade 1A). In patients in whom postoperative bleeding prevents the administration of aspirin at 6 h after CABG, we recommend starting aspirin as soon as possible thereafter (Grade 1C). For patients undergoing CABG, we recommend against addition of dipyridamole to aspirin therapy (Grade 1A). For patients with coronary artery disease undergoing CABG who are allergic to aspirin, we recommend clopidogrel, 300 mg, as a loading dose 6 h after operation followed by 75 mg/d po (Grade 1C+). In patients who undergo CABG for non–ST-segment elevation acute coronary syndrome (ACS), we recommend clopidogrel, 75 mg/d for 9 to 12 months following the procedure in addition to treatment with aspirin (Grade 1A). For patients who have received clopidogrel for ACS and are scheduled for CABG, we recommend discontinuing clopidogrel for 5 days prior to the scheduled surgery (Grade 2A). For patients undergoing CABG who have no other indication for vitamin K antagonists (VKAs), we suggest clinicians to not administer VKAs (Grade 2B). For patients undergoing CABG in whom oral anticoagulants are indicated, such as those with heart valve replacement, we suggest clinicians administer VKA in addition to aspirin (Grade 2C). For all patients with coronary artery disease who undergo internal mammary artery (IMA) bypass grafting, we recommend aspirin, 75 to 162 mg/d, indefinitely (Grade 1A). For all patients undergoing IMA bypass grafting without other indication for VKA, we suggest clinicians not use VKA (Grade 2C).

Chest. 2004;126(3_suppl):609S-626S. doi:10.1378/chest.126.3_suppl.609S

This chapter about antithrombotic therapy for peripheral arterial occlusive disease is part of the seventh ACCP Conference on Antithrombotic and Thrombolytic Therapy: Evidence Based Guidelines. Grade 1 recommendations are strong and indicate that the benefits do, or do not, outweigh risks, burden, and costs, and Grade 2 suggests that individual patients’ values may lead to different choices (for a full understanding of the grading see Guyatt et al, CHEST 2004;126:179S–187S). Among the key recommendations in this chapter are the following: For patients with chronic limb ischemia, we recommend lifelong aspirin therapy in comparison to no antiplatelet therapy in patients with clinically manifest coronary or cerebrovascular disease (Grade 1A) and in those without clinically manifest coronary or cerebrovascular disease (Grade 1C+). We recommend clopidogrel over no antiplatelet therapy (Grade 1C+) but suggest that aspirin be used instead of clopidogrel (Grade 2A). For patients with disabling intermittent claudication who do not respond to conservative measures and who are not candidates for surgical or catheter-based intervention, we suggest cilostazol (Grade 2A). We suggest that clinicians not use cilostazol in patients with less-disabling claudication (Grade 2A). In these patients, we recommend against the use of pentoxifylline (Grade 1B). We suggest clinicians not use prostaglandins (Grade 2B). In patients with intermittent claudication, we recommend against the use of anticoagulants (Grade 1A). In patients with acute arterial emboli or thrombosis, we recommend treatment with immediate systemic anticoagulation with unfractionated heparin (UFH) [Grade 1C]. We also recommend systemic anticoagulation with UFH followed by long-term vitamin K antagonist (VKA) in patients with embolsim [Grade 1C]). For patients undergoing major vascular reconstructive procedures, we recommend UFH at the time of application of vascular cross-clamps (Grade 1A). In patients undergoing prosthetic infrainguinal bypass, we recommend aspirin (Grade 1A). In patients undergoing infrainguinal femoropopliteal or distal vein bypass, we suggest that clinicians do not routinely use a VKA (Grade 2A). For routine patients undergoing infrainguinal bypass without special risk factors for occlusion, we recommend against VKA plus aspirin (Grade 1A). For those at high risk of bypass occlusion and limb loss, we suggest VKA plus aspirin (Grade 2B). In patients undergoing carotid endarterectomy, we recommend aspirin preoperatively and continued indefinitely (Grade 1A). In nonoperative patients with asymptomatic or recurrent carotid stenosis, we recommend lifelong aspirin (Grade 1C+). For all patients undergoing extremity balloon angioplasty, we recommend long-term aspirin (Grade 1C+).

Chest. 2004;126(3_suppl):627S-644S. doi:10.1378/chest.126.3_suppl.627S

This chapter about the use of antithrombotic agents during pregnancy is part of the Seventh ACCP Conference on Antithrombotic and Thrombolytic Therapy: Evidence Based Guidelines. Grade 1 recommendations are strong and indicate that the benefits do, or do not, outweigh risks, burden, and costs. Grade 2 suggests that individual patients’ values may lead to different choices (for a full understanding of the grading see Guyatt et al, CHEST 2004; 126:179S–187S). Among the key recommendations in this chapter are the following: for women requiring long-term vitamin K antagonist therapy who are attempting pregnancy, we suggest performing frequent pregnancy tests and substituting unfractionated heparin (UFH) or low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) for warfarin when pregnancy is achieved (Grade 2C). In women with acute venous thromboembolism (VTE), we recommend adjusted-dose LMWH throughout pregnancy or IV UFH for at least 5 days, followed by adjusted-dose UFH or LMWH for the remainder of the pregnancy and at least 6 weeks postpartum (Grade 1C+). In patients with a single episode of VTE associated with a transient risk factor that is no longer present, we recommend antepartum clinical surveillance and postpartum anticoagulants (Grade 1C). In patients with a single episode of VTE and thrombophilia or strong family history of thrombosis and not receiving long-term anticoagulants, we suggest antepartum prophylactic or intermediate-dose LMWH or minidose or moderate-dose UFH, plus postpartum anticoagulants (Grade 2C). In patients with multiple (two or more) episodes of VTE and/or women receiving long-term anticoagulants, we suggest antepartum adjusted-dose UFH or adjusted-dose LMWH followed by long-term anticoagulants postpartum (Grade 2C). For pregnant patients with antiphospholipid antibodies (APLAs) and a history of two or more early pregnancy losses or one or more late pregnancy losses, preeclampsia, intrauterine growth retardation, or abruption, we suggest antepartum aspirin plus minidose or moderate-dose UFH or prophylactic LMWH (Grade 2B). We suggest one of the following approaches for women with APLAs without prior VTE or pregnancy loss: surveillance, minidose heparin, prophylactic LMWH, and/or low-dose aspirin, 75 to 325 mg/d (all Grade 2C). In women with prosthetic heart valves, we recommend adjusted-dose bid LMWH throughout pregnancy (Grade 1C), aggressive adjusted-dose UFH throughout pregnancy (Grade 1C), or UFH or LMWH until the thirteenth week and then change to warfarin until the middle of the third trimester before restarting UFH or LMWH (Grade 1C). In high-risk women with prosthetic heart valves, we suggest the addition of low-dose aspirin, 75 to 162 mg/d (Grade 2C).

Chest. 2004;126(3_suppl):645S-687S. doi:10.1378/chest.126.3_suppl.645S

This article about antithrombotic therapy in children is part of the 7th American College of Chest Physicians Conference on Antithrombotic and Thrombolytic Therapy: Evidence-Based Guidelines. Grade 1 recommendations are strong and indicate that the benefits do, or do not, outweigh the risks, burden, and costs. Grade 2 suggests that individual patients’ values may lead to different choices (for a full understanding of the grading see Guyatt et al, CHEST 2004; 126:179S–187S). Among the key recommendations in this article are the following. In neonates with venous thromboembolism (VTE), we suggest treatment with either unfractionated heparin or low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH), or radiographic monitoring and anticoagulation therapy if extension occurs (Grade 2C). We suggest that clinicians not use thrombolytic therapy for treating VTE in neonates, unless there is major vessel occlusion that is causing the critical compromise of organs or limbs (Grade 2C). For children (ie, > 2 months of age) with an initial VTE, we recommend treatment with IV heparin or LMWH (Grade 1C+). We suggest continuing anticoagulant therapy for idiopathic thromboembolic events (TEs) for at least 6 months using vitamin K antagonists (target international normalized ratio [INR], 2.5; INR range, 2.0 to 3.0) or alternatively LMWH (Grade 2C). We suggest that clinicians not use thrombolytic therapy routinely for VTE in children (Grade 2C). For neonates and children requiring cardiac catheterization (CC) via an artery, we recommend IV heparin prophylaxis (Grade 1A). We suggest the use of heparin doses of 100 to 150 U/kg as a bolus and that further doses may be required in prolonged procedures (both Grade 2 B). For prophylaxis for CC, we recommend against aspirin therapy (Grade 1B). For neonates and children with peripheral arterial catheters in situ, we recommend the administration of low-dose heparin through a catheter, preferably by continuous infusion to prolong the catheter patency (Grade 1A). For children with a peripheral arterial catheter-related TE, we suggest the immediate removal of the catheter (Grade 2C). For prevention of aortic thrombosis secondary to the use of umbilical artery catheters in neonates, we suggest low-dose heparin infusion (1 to 5 U/h) (Grade 2A). In children with Kawasaki disease, we recommend therapy with aspirin in high doses initially (80 to 100 mg/kg/d during the acute phase, for up to 14 days) and then in lower doses (3 to 5 mg/kg/d for ≥ 7 weeks) [Grade 1C+], as well as therapy with IV gammaglobulin within 10 days of the onset of symptoms (Grade 1A).

Topics: thrombosis
Chest. 2004;126(3_suppl):688S-696S. doi:10.1378/chest.126.3_suppl.688S

This chapter about implementation strategies for practice guidelines is part of the 7th ACCP Conference on Antithrombotic and Thrombolytic Therapy: Evidence Based Guidelines. Grade 1 recommendations are strong and indicate that the benefits do, or do not, outweigh risks, burden, and costs. Grade 2 suggests that feasibility, acceptability and cost related to implementation strategies may lead to different choices depending on the practice setting (for a full understanding of the grading see Guyatt et al, CHEST 2004; 126:179S–187S). To encourage uptake of guidelines to reduce thrombosis, we recommend that appreciable resources be devoted to distribution of educational material (Grade 2B). We suggest that few resources be devoted to educational meetings (Grade 2B), to audit and feedback (Grade 2B), or to educational outreach visits (Grade 2B) to encourage uptake of the guidelines. We suggest that appreciable resources be devoted to computer reminders (Grade 2A) and to patient-mediated interventions (Grade 2B) to encourage uptake of the guidelines. This review suggests that there are few implementation strategies that are of unequivocal, consistent benefit, and that are clearly and consistently worth resource investment. Fully informed decisions will require additional research to identify effective guideline implementation strategies to optimize antithrombotic and thrombolytic therapy.

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  • CHEST Journal
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