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Anticoagulation for patients with mechanical valves

Antithrombotics for patients with bioprosthetic valves

E. Murat Tuzcu, MD, Professor of Medicine, Cleveland Clinic, discusses anticoagulation for patients with mechanical valves, highlighting the use of the antithrombotics aspirin and clopidogrel for some patients with bioprosthetic valves.

Summary:
Antithrombotics such as aspirin and clopidogrel are the mainstay of treatment for uncomplicated patients with bioprosthetic aortic valves.

Patients with mitral valve replacement only need anticoagulants if they have atrial fibrillation or multiple risk factors.

References and Resources:
Meijer K, Kim YK, Schulman S. Decreasing warfarin sensitivity during the first three months after heart valve surgery: Implications for dosing. Thromb Res. 2009 Mar 30.

Laksman Z, Kane GC, Murphy JG. Thrombolytic therapy for late thrombosis of a bioprosthetic mitral valve: atypical diagnostic echocardiographic features and a review of the literature. J Heart Valve Dis. 2008 Nov;17(6):670-3. Review.

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