ITEMS IN AFP WITH MESH TERM:
Low-Molecular-Weight Heparin for Initial Treatment of Venous Thromboembolism - Cochrane for Clinicians
Warfarin for Prevention of Ischemic Stroke Recurrence? - FPIN's Clinical Inquiries
ABSTRACT: Risk factors for stroke should be evaluated in patients who have had a transient ischemic attack. Blood pressure, lipid levels, and diabetes mellitus should be controlled. When applicable, smoking cessation and weight loss also are important. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor therapy may help prevent stroke. Aspirin is the treatment of choice for stroke prevention in patients who do not require anticoagulation. Clopidogrel is an alternative therapy in patients who do not tolerate aspirin. Atrial fibrillation, a known cardioembolic source (confirmed thrombus), or a highly suspected cardioembolic source (e.g., recent large myocardial infarction, dilated cardiomyopathy, mechanical valve, rheumatic mitral valve stenosis) are indications for anticoagulation.
Predicting the Risk of Bleeding in Patients Taking Warfarin - Point-of-Care Guides
ABSTRACT: Pulmonary arterial hypertension is defined as a mean pulmonary arterial pressure greater than 25 mm Hg at rest or 30 mm Hg during physical activity. Pulmonary arterial hypertension is classified into subgroups, including idiopathic, heritable, and pulmonary arterial hypertension associated with other conditions. A detailed history, thorough physical examination, and most importantly, a high index of suspicion are essential to diagnosis. Evaluation includes echocardiography and exclusion of other causes of symptoms. Targeted laboratory testing can help identify the subgroup of pulmonary arterial hypertension. Right heart catheterization is required to confirm the diagnosis. Standard treatment options include oral anticoagulation, diuretics, oxygen supplementation, and for a small percentage of patients, calcium channel blockers. Newer treatments include prostacyclin analogues, endothelin receptor antagonists, and phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors. Combination therapy has been shown to improve pulmonary arterial pressure, but more research is needed. Interventional procedures for patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension include balloon atrial septostomy and lung transplantation.
ABSTRACT: Atrial fibrillation is the most common cardiac arrhythmia. It impairs cardiac function and increases the risk of stroke. The incidence of atrial fibrillation increases with age. Key treatment issues include deciding when to restore normal sinus rhythm, when to control rate only, and how to prevent thromboembolism. Rate control is the preferred management option in most patients. Rhythm control is an option for patients in whom rate control cannot be achieved or who have persistent symptoms despite rate control. The current recommendation for strict rate control is a resting heart rate of less than 80 beats per minute. However, one study has shown that more lenient rate control of less than 110 beats per minute while at rest was not inferior to strict rate control in preventing cardiac death, heart failure, stroke, and life-threatening arrhythmias. Anticoagulation therapy is needed with rate control and rhythm control to prevent stroke. Warfarin is superior to aspirin and clopidogrel in preventing stroke despite its narrow therapeutic range and increased risk of bleeding. Tools that predict the risk of stroke (e.g., CHADS2) and the risk of bleeding (e.g., Outpatient Bleeding Risk Index) are helpful in making decisions about anticoagulation therapy. Surgical options for atrial fibrillation include disruption of abnormal conduction pathways in the atria, and obliteration of the left atrial appendage. Catheter ablation is an option for restoring normal sinus rhythm in patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation and normal left atrial size. Referral to a cardiologist is warranted in patients who have complex cardiac disease; who are symptomatic on or unable to tolerate pharmacologic rate control; or who may be candidates for ablation or surgical interventions.
Recurrent Venous Thromboembolism - Article
ABSTRACT: A previous venous thromboembolism is the most important risk factor for predicting recurrence of the condition. Several studies have shown that routine testing for inherited thrombophilias is not helpful in predicting the risk of recurrence or altering treatment decisions, and therefore is not cost-effective. Updated practice guidelines from the American College of Chest Physicians shift the focus away from laboratory testing and place stronger emphasis on identifying clinical factors when making treatment decisions. The major determinants for treatment duration are whether the deep venous thrombosis was located in a distal or proximal vein, whether the thrombotic episode was an initial or recurrent event, and whether transient risk factors were present. Persistent elevations on the d-dimer test or the presence of residual thrombosis may provide further information to predict recurrence risk and determine treatment duration. Screening for antiphospholipid syndrome and/or malignancy should be considered in patients presenting with arterial thrombosis, thrombosis at an unusual site, or recurrent pregnancy loss. Patients with venous thromboembolism and a known malignancy should be treated with low-molecular-weight heparin rather than oral anticoagulation as long as the cancer is active. All patients with recurrent, unprovoked venous thromboembolism should be considered for long-term treatment.
Self-Monitoring and Self-Management of Anticoagulation Therapy - Cochrane for Clinicians