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Randomised controlled trial
Aspirin given for up to 2 years after initial anticoagulant treatment reduces the risk of venous thromboembolism recurrence without increasing risk of major bleeding
  1. Henry G Watson
  1. Department of Haematology, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Foresterhill Health Campus, Aberdeen, UK
  1. Correspondence to : Dr Henry G Watson
    Department of Haematology, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Foresterhill Health Campus, Aberdeen AB25 2ZN, UK; henrywatson{at}

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Implications for practice and research

  • The use of aspirin to prevent recurrent venous thromboembolism (VTE) after a first idiopathic event should not currently become a standard practice.

  • Further studies are required before the use of aspirin following anticoagulation with warfarin for a first episode of venous thromboembolism becomes adopted as routine clinical practice.

  • A direct comparison between low-dose aspirin and standard intensity warfarin is required.


Venous thromboembolism, which encompasses deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, is a relatively common disorder with an incidence in western countries of around 1/1000 per annum.1 Events are categorised as either provoked, that is occurring in the context of a known temporary risk factor such as surgery, or unprovoked, that is occurring without an associated known risk factor. There is a general consensus that provoked events have a low …

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  • Competing interests None.