Prevention of arterial thromboembolism with acetylsalicylic acid. A controlled clinical study in patients with aortic ball valves

Am Heart J. 1977 Jul;94(1):101-11. doi: 10.1016/s0002-8703(77)80351-7.


Prevention of arterial thromboembolism with acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) was studied in 148 patients with single Starr-Edwards aortic ball-valve prostheses. These patients are suitable for such a study because they have a high incidence of arterial emboli derived mainly from thrombi formed on the valves. They were given either 1 Gm. of ASA daily or placebo in combination with anticoagulants, and were observed for 2 years. Only two emboli occurred in patients receiving ASA, none of them severe. In the placebo group 12 thromboembolic episodes were diagnosed in 10 patients, and three with cerebral emboli died; in one a subdural hematoma unrelated to the embolus was found. In addition, one fatal and the one nonfatal intracranial bleeding occurred in each group, whereas gastrointestinal complications were seen more frequently in patients taking ASA. It is concluded that ASA combined with anticoagulants offered a significantly better protection against arterial thromboembolism than did anticoagulant therapy alone.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aortic Valve*
  • Aspirin / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Drug Evaluation
  • Female
  • Heart Valve Prosthesis* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Placebos
  • Thromboembolism / prevention & control*


  • Placebos
  • Aspirin