Patients attending an anticoagulation clinic were studied to delineate predisposing risk factors for bleeding and thromboembolic episodes. Seventy-three patients were observed for a total of 921.8 patient-treatment months. The mean duration of treatment was 12.6 months (range 3-36 months). No major bleed occurred (a bleed which caused discontinuation of therapy, hospitalization or death). Thirty-two patients had minor bleeding episodes (0.42 bleeds per patient-year of treatment). The average prothrombin time ratio during the third to the sixth month of therapy was predictive of the bleeding risk. There was no association between bleeding and age, sex, indication for anticoagulation therapy or associated illnesses. Four thromboembolic episodes occurred (0.05 per patient-year of treatment), 3 arterial and 1 venous. At the time of the one venous thromboembolic event the prothrombin time ratio was subtherapeutic. In all 3 patients with arterial thromboembolism the mean 3- to 6-month prothrombin time ratio was less than or equal to the lower limit of the recommended range of 1.6-2.5. In our study prothrombin time ratios of 1.3-1.5 for venous thromboembolic disease and 1.6-2.5 for arterial thromboembolic disease were not associated with thromboembolism or major bleeding. Anticoagulation clinics facilitate the close monitoring of patients on oral anticoagulant therapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine