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Anticoagulation: A Contraindication to Joint Aspiration?

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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

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