Antithrombotic therapies in aortic and peripheral arterial diseases in 2021: a consensus document from the ESC working group on aorta and peripheral vascular diseases, the ESC working group on thrombosis, and the ESC working group on cardiovascular pharmacotherapy

Eur Heart J. 2021 Oct 14;42(39):4013-4024. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehab390.


The aim of this collaborative document is to provide an update for clinicians on best antithrombotic strategies in patients with aortic and/or peripheral arterial diseases. Antithrombotic therapy is a pillar of optimal medical treatment for these patients at very high cardiovascular risk. While the number of trials on antithrombotic therapies in patients with aortic or peripheral arterial diseases is substantially smaller than for those with coronary artery disease, recent evidence deserves to be incorporated into clinical practice. In the absence of specific indications for chronic oral anticoagulation due to concomitant cardiovascular disease, a single antiplatelet agent is the basis for long-term antithrombotic treatment in patients with aortic or peripheral arterial diseases. Its association with another antiplatelet agent or low-dose anticoagulants will be discussed, based on patient's ischaemic and bleeding risk as well therapeutic paths (e.g. endovascular therapy). This consensus document aims to provide a guidance for antithrombotic therapy according to arterial disease localizations and clinical presentation. However, it cannot substitute multidisciplinary team discussions, which are particularly important in patients with uncertain ischaemic/bleeding balance. Importantly, since this balance evolves over time in an individual patient, a regular reassessment of the antithrombotic therapy is of paramount importance.

Keywords: Anticoagulant; Antiplatelet drug; Antithrombotic therapy; Aorta; Carotid artery; Lower-extremity artery disease; Mesenteric artery; Peripheral arterial disease; Renal artery; Subclavian artery; Thrombosis; Vertebral artery.

MeSH terms

  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use
  • Aorta
  • Consensus
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease* / drug therapy
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Thrombosis* / drug therapy
  • Thrombosis* / prevention & control


  • Anticoagulants
  • Fibrinolytic Agents
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors