Prosthetic valve thrombogenicity and bleeding complications associated with life-long anticoagulation are constant potential causes of morbidity and mortality following prosthetic valve implantation. The conflict between over- and under-anticoagulation is even more of a problem when other surgical interventions are required. Very few clinical trials have addressed this issue. We propose some guidelines based on the concept of risk-adjusted intensity of anticoagulation but stress the need for caution with interpretation of these recommendations.
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