Patients undergoing major orthopedic surgeries, such as total hip replacement (THR), total knee replacement (TKR), and trauma surgery, are at an elevated risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE), causing significant morbidity and mortality. Previous studies have investigated aspirin as a thromboprophylactic agent for arthroplasty, besides trauma surgery. Therefore, we sought to analyze the efficacy of aspirin compared to that of other anticoagulants for VTE prophylaxis in patients undergoing major orthopedic surgeries.
This study was conducted according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. The study protocol was registered with the PROSPERO register. Randomized controlled trials that investigated the use of aspirin for thromboprophylaxis in major orthopedic lower limb surgeries were included and analyzed. Quality analysis of the literature and level of evidence were assessed. The primary clinical outcome was VTE. Secondary clinical outcomes included mortality, bleeding events, and wound complications.
Eight high-quality studies with level 2 evidence (published within 2006–2021) were included, comprising 6220 patients. The incidence of VTE with aspirin was not found to be more significant than other anticoagulants (risk ratio (RR) = 1.18, 95% CI: 0.89–1.58, P = 0.25). Regarding secondary outcomes, there were no significant differences between aspirin and other anticoagulants (mortality (RR = 1.40, 95% CI: 0.27–7.23, P = 0.69), bleeding events (RR = 0.89, 95% CI: 0.57–1.39, P = 0.61), or wound complications (RR = 0.64, 95% CI: 0.30–1.35, P = 0.24)).
The current meta-analysis did not show any difference between aspirin and other anticoagulants as thromboprophylactic agents in preventing VTE in patients who underwent major orthopedic surgeries.