A follow-up survey of clinical practices for the use of heparin, warfarin, and aspirin

Mark J. Alberts, Deborah V. Dawson, E. Wayne Massey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To determine whether anticoagulation practices have changed when heparin and warfarin are used to treat cerebrovascular disease, and to determine the dosage of aspirin used to treat carotid territory transient ischemic attacks (TIAs). Background: A 1987 study documented that neurologists and neurology house officers were using excessive amounts of heparin and warfarin. Recent studies have demonstrated the efficacy and safety of low-intensity anticoagulation for preventing strokes, but no data are available on how these findings have affected the treatment practices of clinicians. Design/Methods: Questionnaires were sent to neurology staff at 10 medical centers. The questions dealt with the use of heparin, warfarin, and aspirin in stroke/transient ischemic attack patients. The nonparametric Wilcoxon rank sum test was used for analyzing the responses. Results: Ninety- three physicians responded compared with 52 in the prior study. Most (56 of 92; 61%) did not use an IV heparin bolus. The mean partial thromboplastin time (PTT) was 55 seconds, which was significantly less than the mean PTT of 62 seconds (p = 0.006) in the prior study. The mean prothrombin time (PT) fell to 16.0 seconds (range, 12.5 to 20.0) compared with a mean of 19.9 seconds (range, 15.0 to 27.0; p < 0.001) in the earlier study. There was a significant fall in the mean PT ratio from 1.74 (range, 1.20 to 2.25) to 1.49 (range, 1.12 to 2.50; p < 0.001). Most respondents used 325 mg qd of aspirin for treating TIAs. Conclusions: At the centers studied, neurologists and neurology house officers are using less intense anticoagulation when treating stroke patients now than in 1986. This concurs with recent studies demonstrating the efficacy and safety of low-intensity anticoagulation in some clinical settings. The use of 325 mg/d of aspirin is common, although the data supporting its efficacy compared with higher doses are unclear.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)618-621
Number of pages4
JournalNeurology
Volume44
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1994

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Warfarin
Aspirin
Heparin
Transient Ischemic Attack
Neurology
Partial Thromboplastin Time
Stroke
Prothrombin Time
Nonparametric Statistics
Safety
Cerebrovascular Disorders
Physicians
Surveys and Questionnaires
Neurologists
Therapeutics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

A follow-up survey of clinical practices for the use of heparin, warfarin, and aspirin. / Alberts, Mark J.; Dawson, Deborah V.; Massey, E. Wayne.

In: Neurology, Vol. 44, No. 4, 04.1994, p. 618-621.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Alberts, Mark J. ; Dawson, Deborah V. ; Massey, E. Wayne. / A follow-up survey of clinical practices for the use of heparin, warfarin, and aspirin. In: Neurology. 1994 ; Vol. 44, No. 4. pp. 618-621.
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abstract = "Objective: To determine whether anticoagulation practices have changed when heparin and warfarin are used to treat cerebrovascular disease, and to determine the dosage of aspirin used to treat carotid territory transient ischemic attacks (TIAs). Background: A 1987 study documented that neurologists and neurology house officers were using excessive amounts of heparin and warfarin. Recent studies have demonstrated the efficacy and safety of low-intensity anticoagulation for preventing strokes, but no data are available on how these findings have affected the treatment practices of clinicians. Design/Methods: Questionnaires were sent to neurology staff at 10 medical centers. The questions dealt with the use of heparin, warfarin, and aspirin in stroke/transient ischemic attack patients. The nonparametric Wilcoxon rank sum test was used for analyzing the responses. Results: Ninety- three physicians responded compared with 52 in the prior study. Most (56 of 92; 61{\%}) did not use an IV heparin bolus. The mean partial thromboplastin time (PTT) was 55 seconds, which was significantly less than the mean PTT of 62 seconds (p = 0.006) in the prior study. The mean prothrombin time (PT) fell to 16.0 seconds (range, 12.5 to 20.0) compared with a mean of 19.9 seconds (range, 15.0 to 27.0; p < 0.001) in the earlier study. There was a significant fall in the mean PT ratio from 1.74 (range, 1.20 to 2.25) to 1.49 (range, 1.12 to 2.50; p < 0.001). Most respondents used 325 mg qd of aspirin for treating TIAs. Conclusions: At the centers studied, neurologists and neurology house officers are using less intense anticoagulation when treating stroke patients now than in 1986. This concurs with recent studies demonstrating the efficacy and safety of low-intensity anticoagulation in some clinical settings. The use of 325 mg/d of aspirin is common, although the data supporting its efficacy compared with higher doses are unclear.",
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AB - Objective: To determine whether anticoagulation practices have changed when heparin and warfarin are used to treat cerebrovascular disease, and to determine the dosage of aspirin used to treat carotid territory transient ischemic attacks (TIAs). Background: A 1987 study documented that neurologists and neurology house officers were using excessive amounts of heparin and warfarin. Recent studies have demonstrated the efficacy and safety of low-intensity anticoagulation for preventing strokes, but no data are available on how these findings have affected the treatment practices of clinicians. Design/Methods: Questionnaires were sent to neurology staff at 10 medical centers. The questions dealt with the use of heparin, warfarin, and aspirin in stroke/transient ischemic attack patients. The nonparametric Wilcoxon rank sum test was used for analyzing the responses. Results: Ninety- three physicians responded compared with 52 in the prior study. Most (56 of 92; 61%) did not use an IV heparin bolus. The mean partial thromboplastin time (PTT) was 55 seconds, which was significantly less than the mean PTT of 62 seconds (p = 0.006) in the prior study. The mean prothrombin time (PT) fell to 16.0 seconds (range, 12.5 to 20.0) compared with a mean of 19.9 seconds (range, 15.0 to 27.0; p < 0.001) in the earlier study. There was a significant fall in the mean PT ratio from 1.74 (range, 1.20 to 2.25) to 1.49 (range, 1.12 to 2.50; p < 0.001). Most respondents used 325 mg qd of aspirin for treating TIAs. Conclusions: At the centers studied, neurologists and neurology house officers are using less intense anticoagulation when treating stroke patients now than in 1986. This concurs with recent studies demonstrating the efficacy and safety of low-intensity anticoagulation in some clinical settings. The use of 325 mg/d of aspirin is common, although the data supporting its efficacy compared with higher doses are unclear.

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