Author(s): Ferrari E, Vidal R, Chevallier T, Baudouy M
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: Our aim was to confirm the poor prognosis related to thoracic aortic plaques, in particular aortic debris, diagnosed by transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) and to evaluate patients' prognosis as a function of the antithrombotic treatment. BACKGROUND: Aortic atheroma (AA) has been widely studied. However, it is still not known which antithrombotic treatment should be adopted in this disease. METHODS: Patients referred for TEE and diagnosed with AA were followed. All thromboembolic events and deaths were recorded during a follow-up of 22+/-10 months. The antithrombotic treatment to be adopted was left to the discretion of the practitioner in charge of the patient. RESULTS: Aortic atheroma was found in 12\% of all TEE performed and in 27.5\% of TEE performed for stroke. This prevalence was higher when no other etiology existed to explain the stroke (p < 0.001). During follow-up, an end point occurred in 22.5\% of patients. The more severe the AA the greater the incidence of events (p = 0.007). A higher mortality rate is shown in patients with aortic debris (p = 0.049). Compared with those treated with oral anticoagulants, patients with aortic plaques >4 mm thick treated with antiplatelets had more embolic events and combined events (p = 0.01 and p = 0.007, relative risk [RR] = 5.9, 95\% confidence interval [CI] = 1.4 to 15, respectively); patients with aortic debris had more combined events and a higher mortality rate (p = 0.001, RR = 7.1, 95\% CI = 1.2 to 19 and p = 0.019, RR = 9.1, 95\% CI = 1.2 to 25, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: We confirm the high incidence of vascular events and deaths in patients with AA. We have demonstrated, for the first time in this condition, a better outcome among patients treated with oral anticoagulants versus antiplatelets.
This article was published in J Am Coll Cardiol
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy