To evaluate the safety of continuing aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) in patients undergoing image-guided musculoskeletal biopsies.
Material and methods
Prior to October 2017, patients undergoing image-guided musculoskeletal biopsy had aspirin and NSAIDs withheld for the preceding 5–7 days. The policy changed in October 2017 based on new guidelines from the Society of Interventional Radiology such that aspirin and other NSAIDs were not withheld. A retrospective review of patient records was performed for all biopsies prior to and after the policy change to assess for differences in biopsy-related bleeding complications. Additional clinical and biopsy factors including age, gender, liver disease, coagulopathy, biopsy tissue type, and histological diagnosis were assessed.
In the pre-policy change group, there were 1853 total biopsies with 43 biopsy-related bleeding complications (2.3%). Within this group, 362 patients were on aspirin with 7 bleeding complications (1.9%) and 260 patients were on NSAIDs with 5 bleeding complications (1.9%). There were 409 total biopsies in the post-policy change group and 7 bleeding complications (1.7%). Within this group, 71 patients were on aspirin with 1 bleeding complication (1.4%). No bleeding complications were recorded in patients on NSAIDs (0%). There was no significant difference in bleeding complication between the pre- and post-policy change groups overall (p = 0.58) and in patients on aspirin (p = 1.00) or other NSAIDs (p = 1.00).
Bleeding complications for musculoskeletal biopsies are rare. Leaving patients on aspirin or other NSAIDs during a musculoskeletal biopsy does not increase the incidence of bleeding complications.