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Dipyridamole Can Cut Risk of Hemodialysis Stenosis

In combination with aspirin it helps boost graft patency in new grafts, study suggests

WEDNESDAY, May 20 (HealthDay News) -- A combination of aspirin and dipyridamole can yield a modest reduction in the risk of arterovenous graft stenosis in patients undergoing hemodialysis, and can increase the duration of patency in new grafts, according to a study published in the May 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Bradley S. Dixon, M.D., of the University of Iowa in Iowa City, and colleagues conducted a study of 649 patients undergoing hemodialysis recruited from 13 centers in the United States, of whom 321 were randomized to receive 200 mg of dipyridamole and 25 mg aspirin, while 328 received placebo. The study lasted four and half years, followed by six months of follow-up.

The researchers found that the treatment group had a primary unassisted patency rate of 28 percent, compared to 23 percent for the placebo group, and the treatment was shown to inhibit stenosis. Both groups had similar cumulative rates of graft failure, death and serious adverse events.

"Our study shows that treatment with extended-release dipyridamole plus aspirin results in a significant but clinically modest improvement in primary unassisted graft patency," the authors write. "As is consistent with the known antiproliferative effects of extended-release dipyridamole plus aspirin, the results suggest that strategies targeting neointimal hyperplasia may be an important area for future research."

The study was supported by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals. Several of the study and editorial authors reported financial relationships with the pharmaceutical industry including Boehringer Ingelheim.

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