Cancer Institute A national cancer institute
designated cancer center

George Triadafilopoulos

Publication Details

  • Effect and outcomes of the ASGE guidelines on the periendoscopic management of patients who take anticoagulants AMERICAN JOURNAL OF GASTROENTEROLOGY Gerson, L. B., Gage, B. F., Owens, D. K., Triadafilopoulos, G. 2000; 95 (7): 1717-1724


    In December 1997, the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) issued guidelines regarding periendoscopic management of patients who take anticoagulants. They recommended that physicians substitute heparin for warfarin in their patients who have highly thrombotic conditions (e.g., a mechanical valve in the mitral position), and who will undergo high-risk procedures (e.g., polypectomy). The purpose of this study was to assess whether patient outcomes and anticoagulant management changed after the publication of the 1997 guidelines.We collected utilization data on all 104 patients at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System who were taking chronic warfarin therapy and who underwent endoscopic procedures during the study period (1996-1999). These patients underwent 99 colonoscopies, 63 upper endoscopies, and nine endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatographies. According to the ASGE guidelines, 18 of these patients had highly thrombotic conditions, whereas the remaining 86 patients had relatively low thrombotic conditions. We calculated their costs for intravenous or subcutaneous heparin therapy from the perspective of society. We followed-up all patients for 3 months, to determine the incidence of thrombotic and hemorrhagic outcomes.No patient suffered a thromboembolism or a hemorrhage; thus, the adverse-event rate (95% confidence interval) was 0% (0-3%). As recommended by the ASGE guidelines, all five (100%) patients who had highly thrombotic conditions had heparin substituted for warfarin before undergoing high-risk procedures. This strategy was also followed in 44 (27%) of the 166 procedures in other patients: 16 high-risk procedures in low-risk patients, and 28 low-risk procedures (in 20 low-thrombotic patients and in eight high-thrombotic patients). There was no significant difference between the management of any patients before and after the publication of the guidelines. The average cost per course of heparin therapy (typically 2 days intravenous heparin preprocedure, and 3 days heparin administered subcutaneously postendoscopy) was $1684. In all, 44 (90%) of 49 courses of heparin substituted for warfarin therapy were not recommended by the guidelines.Patients treated by the ASGE guidelines had the same 0% rate of thrombosis as patients who received periendoscopic heparin outside of the guidelines. Following the ASGE guidelines in all patients would have reduced the use of heparin therapy by 90%, for a net savings of $74,100.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000088229000018

    View details for PubMedID 10925974

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