This study assessed the effect of uninterrupted antiplatelet therapy on perioperative blood loss and complications in patients undergoing carotid endarterectomy. The files of 107 consecutive patients (mean age 69.5 ± 9 years; range 47.88; 78 men) who underwent carotid endarterectomy were reviewed. Twenty-six patients had been treated with clopidogrel (16 of whom were on combined clopidogrel and aspirin treatment) and compared with non-clopidogrel patients. Antiplatelet treatment was continued until the day of surgery without interruption. Perioperative blood loss and complications were studied. The mean hemoglobin decrease was 1.64 ± 1.2 mg/dL and was not significantly affected by clopidogrel. Surgical time was significantly longer among patients treated with clopidogrel (205 ± 52 minutes on combined treatment and 201 ± 68 minutes on clopidogrel alone versus 165 ± 33 minutes, P < 0.0001). Postoperative complications were similar for all groups and included five strokes, five neck hematomas, one nerve injury and one wound infection. In conclusion, patients treated with clopidogrel before carotid endarterectomy can be expected to have prolonged surgical time. Large cohorts are required to determine whether these patients have more complications.
- Blood loss