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Objective: To compare pulmonary artery systolic pressure (PASP) between thalassemic patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) for whom acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) was and was not prescribed after 1 year.
Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted at the hematological outpatient clinic at Chiang Rai Hospital, Chiang Rai, Thailand. All new cases of thalassemia with PAH from January 2007 to January 2012 were studied at the first month and at 12 months. The patients were classified into two groups. In one group, ASA 81 mg daily was prescribed for 1 year, whereas in another group no ASA was prescribed, due to its contraindications, which included bleeding, gastrointestinal side effects, and thrombocytopenia. PASP, estimated by a Doppler echocardiography, was measured by the same cardiologist. Propensity score adjustment was used to control confounding variables by indication and contraindication. Multivariable regression analysis was used to evaluate the effects of ASA.
Results: Of the 63 thalassemia patients with PAH, there were 47 (74.6%) in the ASA group and 16 (25.4%) in the no ASA group. ASA, as compared with no ASA, did not significantly reduce PASP (adjusted difference −0.95; 95% confidence interval −16.99 to 15.10; P=0.906).
Conclusion: Low-dose ASA may not have a beneficial effect on PASP after 1 year of treatment of PAH in thalassemia.