Anticoagulation: A Contraindication to Joint Aspiration?

April 15, 2006

Are there any generally accepted guidelines for performing arthrocentesis in patients who are receiving anticoagulants?

Are there any generally accepted guidelines for performing arthrocentesis in patients who are receiving anticoagulants?- MD

There are no guidelines regarding arthrocentesis in patients who are receiving anticoagulants. If there is a medical indication for the aspiration of a joint, the procedure should be done. Such indications include acute monarthritis (to exclude hemorrhage, crystals, or suspected infection) and to confirm a diagnosis.

We routinely aspirate joints in patients who are receiving anticoagulants without reversing the anticoagulation. The procedure is best performed by physicians with expertise in arthritis.
- Michael E. Weinblatt, MD
   Professor of Medicine
   Harvard Medical School
   Co-director of Clinical Rheumatology
   Brigham and Women's Hospital
   Boston