Prevention and treatment of thrombotic complications in essential thrombocythaemia: efficacy and safety of aspirin

Br J Haematol. 1997 Apr;97(1):179-84. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2141.1997.d01-2127.x.


The efficacy and safety of aspirin in the prevention and treatment of thrombosis in essential thrombocythaemia (ET) was retrospectively analysed in a cohort of 68 ET patients. 41 patients presented with thrombosis, five patients with bleeding: two patients had a paradoxical combination of bleeding and thrombosis at presentation. At presentation, patients with bleeding had significantly higher platelet and leucocyte counts than patients with thrombosis. During long-term follow-up the incidence of thrombosis was significantly reduced in patients receiving aspirin, either as monotherapy or in combination with cytoreduction. However, treatment with aspirin (500 mg/d) was associated with an increase in (minor) bleeding complications. In patients receiving aspirin, bleeding occurred particularly at platelet counts exceeding 1000 x 10(9)/l. The overall 5- and 10-years survival probability was 93% and 84% respectively, indicating that life expectancy in ET is close to normal. Although our data need confirmation in prospective clinical trials, they suggest that aspirin, particularly in lower doses (100 mg/d), may be a safe antithrombotic agent in ET with an acceptable risk for bleeding, if applied to patients with a platelet count <1000 x 10(9)/l and/or absence of a bleeding history.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aspirin / adverse effects
  • Aspirin / therapeutic use*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Analysis
  • Thrombocytopenia / complications*
  • Thrombosis / prevention & control*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Aspirin