Prothrombotic and hemorrhagic effects of aspirin

Clin Appl Thromb Hemost. 2009 Oct;15(5):523-8. doi: 10.1177/1076029608319945. Epub 2008 Jul 3.


Aspirin remains the most widely used drug for prevention of vascular events. Recent observational epidemiological evidence has raised the concern that aspirin withdrawal for treatment noncompliance, surgery, or side effects can carry an increased thrombotic risk. The delay to the thrombotic event was between 7 to 30 days in most reports and most frequently 7 to 10 days. The mechanism underlying this effect remains poorly understood. Using an in vivo model of laser-induced thrombosis, aspirin injected in 1 single dose of 100 mg/kg body weight has also shown a prothrombotic activity in the rat 8 to 10 days after injection in the normal rat. The hypothesis was made that minimal concentrations of aspirin or ultra-low dose aspirin (ULDA) could induce this effect. ULDA showed prothrombotic properties in the same model of induced thrombosis that were very similar to those described after aspirin withdrawal, but the effect was observed only 1 hour after aspirin administration. This prothrombotic effect of ULDA is very similar to the effect observed after COX 2 selective inhibition with NS 398. The administration of both the selective COX 2 inhibitor and ULDA did not produce further changes. In conclusion, the prothrombotic effects described in recent observational studies are likely produced by a direct effect of aspirin, whose putative mechanism involving COX 2 inhibition remains poorly understood.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aspirin / administration & dosage*
  • Aspirin / adverse effects*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Hemorrhage / chemically induced*
  • Hemorrhage / drug therapy
  • Rats
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / etiology
  • Thrombosis / chemically induced*
  • Thrombosis / drug therapy


  • Aspirin