Prophylactic Perioperative Anti-Thrombotics in Open and Endovascular Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Surgery: A Systematic Review

A. M. Wiersema, V. Jongkind, C. M. A. Bruijninckx, M. M. P. J. Reijnen, J. A. Vos, O. M. van Delden, C. J. Zeebregts, F. L. Moll

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Heparin is used worldwide by vascular surgeons as prophylaxis for arterial thrombo-embolic complications during open and endovascular arterial surgery. Possible harmful effect of heparin use is more perioperative blood loss, resulting in a higher morbidity and mortality. To evaluate the evidence for the use of heparin during aorto-iliac arterial surgery a review was performed. Methods: A systematic review was performed of literature from MEDLINE. EMBASE and Cochrane databases, last search performed on March 8, 2012. Results: For open surgery for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), only 5 studies were eligible for review and for endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) only 1 study. Overall methodological quality of the included studies was poor. One randomised trial could be retrieved. Possible harmful effects of heparin were found of increasing operation time, more blood loss and more transfusion requirements when heparin was used for open AAA surgery in one study. No data were found comparing heparin to no intervention for EVAR. One study compared heparin to a direct thrombin antagonist during EVAR, showing no differences in clinical outcomes. Conclusion: Despite limitations this review showed no compelling evidence on the beneficiary effect of the prophylactic perioperative use of heparin during open surgery for (r)AAA. Authors will promote a randomised controlled multi-center trial on this topic for elective open surgical repair of AAA. (C) 2012 European Society for Vascular Surgery. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-367
JournalEuropean Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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