The utilization of aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid [ASA]) as primary prophylaxis for venous thromboembolism (VTE) after total hip arthroplasty (THA) and total knee arthroplasty (TKA) in the United States has increased in concordance with the number of arthroplasty procedures being completed. The available literature regarding dosage, duration, efficacy, and safety varies considerably. This review assessed the recent published literature for both the efficacy and safety of aspirin as VTE prophylaxis. Overall, the rates of symptomatic VTE found in the literature ranged from 0.1% to 4.1%, of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) 0.1% to 3.0%, and of pulmonary embolism (PE) 0.1% to 1.5%. As for secondary outcome measures, the rate of major bleeding from either a gastrointestinal source or at the surgical site ranged from 0% to 3.2%, and the rate of transfusion between 7.0% to 20.0%. Among the studies that reported the infection rates, it ranged from 0.1% to 6.1%. The 90-day mortality rate was 0% to 0.23%. The available data and evidence remain inconclusive with regard to ASA dosage or the duration for patients after TKAs and THAs. However, ASA appears to be an effective option for VTE prevention when utilized as part of a multimodal approach to prophylaxis that includes early mobilization and mechanical compression devices.
- acetylsalicylic acid
- aspirin prophylaxis
- venous thromboembolism
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine