New Articles by Dr. Martin

Patent foramen ovale closure, antiplatelet therapy or anticoagulation therapy alone for management of cryptogenic stroke? A clinical practice guideline.

BMJ. 2018 Jul 25;362:k2515. doi: 10.1136/bmj.k2515.

Kuijpers T, Spencer FA, Siemieniuk RAC, Vandvik PO, Otto CM, Lytvyn L, Mir H, Jin AY, Manja V, Karthikeyan G, Hoendermis E, Martin J, Carballo S, O'Donnell M, Vartdal T, Baxter C, Patrick-Lake B, Scott J, Agoritsas T, Guyatt G.


Options for the secondary prevention of stroke in patients younger than 60 years who have had a cryptogenic ischaemic stroke thought to be secondary to patent foramen ovale (PFO) include PFO closure (with antiplatelet therapy), antiplatelet therapy alone, or anticoagulants. International guidance and practice differ on which option is preferable.

The BMJ Rapid Recommendations panel used a linked systematic review triggered by three large randomised trials published in September 2017 that suggested PFO closure might reduce the risk of ischaemic stroke more than alternatives. The panel felt that the studies, when considered in the context of the full body of evidence, might change current clinical practice. The linked systematic review finds that PFO closure prevents recurrent stroke relative to antiplatelet therapy, but possibly not relative to anticoagulants, and is associated with procedural complications and persistent atrial fibrillation. The review also presents evidence regarding the role of anticoagulants or antiplatelet therapy when PFO closure is not acceptable or is contraindicated.


Read the full paper on PubMed Central

Pre-operative use of aspirin in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting: a systematic review and updated meta-analysis.

J Thorac Dis. 2018 Jun;10(6):3444-3459. doi: 10.21037/jtd.2018.05.187.

Solo K, Lavi S, Choudhury T, Martin J, Nevis IF, Kwok CS, Kotronias RA, Nishina N, Sponga S, Ayan D, Mamas MA, Bagur R.



Aspirin therapy improves saphenous vein graft (SVG) patency in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), however, its use in the pre-operative period remains controversial. Therefore, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized-controlled trials (RCTs) to update the evidence about risk and benefits of pre-operative aspirin therapy in patients undergoing CABG.


Electronic databases (Medline, Embase, PubMed, Cochrane Library, and Scopus) were searched to identify RCTs evaluating the effect of aspirin versus placebo/control before CABG. Two investigators independently and in duplicate screened citations and extracted data and rated the risk of bias. The strength of evidence was appraised using the Grading of Recommendation Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) approach. Meta-analysis was performed using a random-effects model. The main outcomes of interest were 30-day mortality, peri-operative myocardial infarction (MI), chest tube drainage and SVG occlusion.


A total of 13 RCTs involving 4,377 participants (2,266/2,111 pre-operative aspirin/control) met the inclusion criteria. Pre-operative aspirin reduced the risk of SVG occlusion [risk ratio (RR): 0.69, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.49-0.97, P=0.03, I2=16%], but no differences in mortality (RR: 1.41, 95% Cl: 0.73-2.74, I2=0%) and MI (RR: 0.84, 95% CI: 0.69-1.03, I2=0%) were found. However, pre-operative aspirin increased chest tube drainage (MD: 100.40 mL, 95% CI: 24.32-176.47 mL, P=0.01, I2=84%) and surgical re-exploration (RR: 1.52, 95% CI: 1.02-2.27, P=0.04, I2=8%), with no significant difference in RBC transfusion (RR: 1.06, 95% CI: 0.90-1.25, I2=35%).


Based on trials where the rated body of evidence was of low to very-low quality, pre-operative aspirin improves SVG patency but increases chest tube drainage and need for surgical re-exploration.

Read more on PubMed