Background: Although antithrombotic agents are widely used for cardiac and cerebrovascular disease prevention, they increase the risk of gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding.
Objective: To examine GI bleeding risk in association with an esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) biopsy performed in patients without cessation of antithrombotic therapy.
Methods: This study was prospectively conducted at 14 centers. EGD biopsies were performed in patients receiving antithrombotic agents without cessation, as well as age- and sex-matched controls not receiving antithrombotic therapy. Patients treated with warfarin before the biopsy had a prothrombin time-international normalized ratio level <3.0. The proportion of GI bleeding events was compared between the groups.
Results: The patient group (n = 277) underwent a total of 560 biopsies while continuing antithrombotic therapy, of whom 24 were receiving multiple antiplatelet drugs, and 9 were receiving both antiplatelet and anticoagulant agents. The control patients (n = 263) underwent 557 biopsies. The upper-GI bleeding rate within 30 days after the EGD biopsy did not increase in patients without cessation of antithrombotic treatment, regardless of receiving single or multiple antithrombotic agents.
Conclusions: We found no significant increase in upper-GI bleeding risk following an EGD biopsy in patients taking antithrombotic agents, suggesting its safety without the need for antithrombotic treatment interruption.
Keywords: anticoagulant drug; antiplatelet drug; biopsy; esophagogastroduodenoscopy; gastrointestinal bleeding.
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