Aspirin Thromboprophylaxis Is Associated With Less Major Bleeding Events Following Total Joint Arthroplasty

Published:October 11, 2021DOI:



      There is ongoing debate on what is optimal prophylactic agent to reduce venous thromboembolism (VTE) following total joint arthroplasty (TJA). Although many studies assess the efficacy of these agents in VTE prevention, no attention is given to their adverse effect on major bleeding events (MBEs). This study compared the incidence of MBE in patients receiving aspirin as VTE prophylaxis vs other chemoprophylaxis.


      A single-institution, retrospective study of 35,860 patients undergoing TJA between 2009 and 2020 was conducted. Demographic variables, co-morbidities, type of chemoprophylaxis, and intraoperative factors were collected. MBE was defined using the 2010 criteria for major bleeding in surgical patients presented by the Scientific and Standardization Committee of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis. To enhance capture rate, comprehensive queries utilizing MBE keywords were conducted in clinical notes, physician dictations, and phone call logs. Univariate followed by multivariate regression was performed as well as propensity score matched analysis.


      Overall, 270 patients (0.75%) in this cohort developed MBE. The MBE rate was 0.5% in the aspirin group and 1.2% in the non-aspirin group. After adjusting for confounders, multiple logistic regression and propensity score matched analysis revealed almost 2 times lower odds of MBE in patients who received aspirin. Variables independently associated with increased MBE risk included increasing age, body mass index, American Society of Anesthesiologists score, revision surgery, peptic ulcer disease, coagulopathy, intraoperative blood transfusion, and active smoking.


      Administration of aspirin for VTE prophylaxis, compared to other chemoprophylaxis agents may have an association with lower risk of major bleeding following TJA. Future randomized controlled trials should examine these findings.


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