OJRA  Vol.4 No.2 , May 2014
The Use of Anti-Platelet and/or Anticoagulant Agents in the Prevention of Large Vessel Vasculitis-Associated Ischemic Complications: A Meta-Analysis
Abstract: Objective: To determine the effectiveness of antiplatelet and/or anticoagulant therapy (AP/AC) at reducing ischemic events in patients with Large Vessel Vasculitis (LVV). Methods: We performed a random effects meta-analysis of studies examining antiplatelet and/or anticoagulant therapy (AP/AC) and ischemic events in Takayasu’s Arteritis (TAK) or Giant Cell Arteritis (GCA). Severe ischemic events were defined as stroke, ischemic ocular manifestations and claudication symptoms. Any ischemic event included jaw claudication in addition to the above manifestations. Results: Seven studies met inclusion criteria: 1 TAK and 6 GCA. The majority of patients (>80%) were treated with ASA and treatment was initiated prior to diagnosis of LVV. Risk of severe and any ischemic event in patients with LVV treated with AP/AC versus no treatment was not significantly different (OR 0.570, 95% CI 0.243, 1.340 and OR 0.594, 95% CI 0.248, 1.421, respectively). For studies with follow-up data (26-76 months), AP/AC was protective for severe ischemic events (OR 0.18, 95% CI 0.04, 0.83). Findings were similar when excluding studies that did not account for potential confounders, such as cardiovascular risk factors. Conclusion: At follow-up, antiplatelet therapy significantly decreases ischemic events in patients with LVV. However, in most cases of GCA, the treatment was initiated prior to the diagnosis of vasculitis. The benefit of initiating anti-platelet therapy at the time of GCA diagnosis remains unclear.
Cite this paper: Jeong, J. and Barra, L. (2014) The Use of Anti-Platelet and/or Anticoagulant Agents in the Prevention of Large Vessel Vasculitis-Associated Ischemic Complications: A Meta-Analysis. Open Journal of Rheumatology and Autoimmune Diseases, 4, 114-123. doi: 10.4236/ojra.2014.42017.

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