Anticoagulation and antiplatelet therapy in urological practice: ICUD/AUA review paper

Daniel J. Culkin*, Emilio J. Exaire, David Green, Mark S. Soloway, Andreas J. Gross, Maheshbhai R. Desai, James R. White, Deborah J. Lightner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations


Purpose Given the lack of urology specific directives for the periprocedural management of anticoagulant and antiplatelet medications, the AUA (American Urological Association) and ICUD (International Consultation on Urological Disease) named an international multidisciplinary panel to develop consensus based recommendations. Materials and Methods A systematic literature review was queried by a methodologist for 3 questions. 1) When and in whom can anticoagulant/antiplatelet prophylaxis be stopped in preparation for surgery? 2) What procedures can be safely performed without discontinuing anticoagulant/antiplatelet prophylaxis? 3) What periprocedural strategies can adequately balance the risk of major surgical bleeding vs the risk of major thrombotic event? Hematology and cardiology guidelines, and 79 articles were selected for full review. Results Multidisciplinary management of anticoagulant/antiplatelet medications for patients with recent thromboembolic events, mechanical cardiac valves, atrial fibrillation and cardiac stents would reduce the high morbidity and mortality of inexpertly discontinuing or modifying these lifesaving therapies. No elective procedures requiring interruption of dual antiplatelet therapies should be performed with a recent bare metal or drug eluting stent. The risk of significant bleeding complications is low for patients who require continuation of aspirin for ureteroscopy, transrectal prostate biopsies, laser prostate outlet procedures and percutaneous renal biopsy. Open extirpative prostate and renal procedures can be performed with a low risk of significant hemorrhage for patients on aspirin and those requiring heparin based bridging strategies. The current literature does not give direction on the timing of the resumption of anticoagulant/antiplatelet prophylaxis other than that it be resumed as soon as the risk of bleeding has decreased. Conclusions A total of 2,674 nonredundant article abstracts were obtained and assessed for relevance to key questions outlined by the panel. Overall 106 articles were selected for full text review and accepted or rejected based on the relation to the topic, quality of information and key questions. A total of 79 articles were accepted. Reasons for rejection (27 articles) included abstract only (12), insufficient information or unrelated to topic (13) and redundancy (2). We extracted study design, patient population, followup period and results from accepted articles, which serve as the evidence base.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1026-1034
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014


  • anticoagulants
  • platelet aggregation inhibitors
  • practice guideline
  • thromboembolism
  • urologic surgical procedures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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