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Concept: Anticoagulants

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Objective To compare the efficacy, safety, and cost effectiveness of direct acting oral anticoagulants (DOACs) for patients with atrial fibrillation.Design Systematic review, network meta-analysis, and cost effectiveness analysis. Data sources Medline, PreMedline, Embase, and The Cochrane Library.Eligibility criteria for selecting studies Published randomised trials evaluating the use of a DOAC, vitamin K antagonist, or antiplatelet drug for prevention of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation.Results 23 randomised trials involving 94 656 patients were analysed: 13 compared a DOAC with warfarin dosed to achieve a target INR of 2.0-3.0. Apixaban 5 mg twice daily (odds ratio 0.79, 95% confidence interval 0.66 to 0.94), dabigatran 150 mg twice daily (0.65, 0.52 to 0.81), edoxaban 60 mg once daily (0.86, 0.74 to 1.01), and rivaroxaban 20 mg once daily (0.88, 0.74 to 1.03) reduced the risk of stroke or systemic embolism compared with warfarin. The risk of stroke or systemic embolism was higher with edoxaban 60 mg once daily (1.33, 1.02 to 1.75) and rivaroxaban 20 mg once daily (1.35, 1.03 to 1.78) than with dabigatran 150 mg twice daily. The risk of all-cause mortality was lower with all DOACs than with warfarin. Apixaban 5 mg twice daily (0.71, 0.61 to 0.81), dabigatran 110 mg twice daily (0.80, 0.69 to 0.93), edoxaban 30 mg once daily (0.46, 0.40 to 0.54), and edoxaban 60 mg once daily (0.78, 0.69 to 0.90) reduced the risk of major bleeding compared with warfarin. The risk of major bleeding was higher with dabigatran 150 mg twice daily than apixaban 5 mg twice daily (1.33, 1.09 to 1.62), rivaroxaban 20 mg twice daily than apixaban 5 mg twice daily (1.45, 1.19 to 1.78), and rivaroxaban 20 mg twice daily than edoxaban 60 mg once daily (1.31, 1.07 to 1.59). The risk of intracranial bleeding was substantially lower for most DOACs compared with warfarin, whereas the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding was higher with some DOACs than warfarin. Apixaban 5 mg twice daily was ranked the highest for most outcomes, and was cost effective compared with warfarin.Conclusions The network meta-analysis informs the choice of DOACs for prevention of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation. Several DOACs are of net benefit compared with warfarin. A trial directly comparing DOACs would overcome the need for indirect comparisons to be made through network meta-analysis.Systematic review registration PROSPERO CRD 42013005324.

Concepts: Stroke, Atrial fibrillation, Pulmonary embolism, Warfarin, Anticoagulant, Dabigatran, Anticoagulants, Vitamin K

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Background Specific reversal agents for non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants are lacking. Idarucizumab, an antibody fragment, was developed to reverse the anticoagulant effects of dabigatran. Methods We undertook this prospective cohort study to determine the safety of 5 g of intravenous idarucizumab and its capacity to reverse the anticoagulant effects of dabigatran in patients who had serious bleeding (group A) or required an urgent procedure (group B). The primary end point was the maximum percentage reversal of the anticoagulant effect of dabigatran within 4 hours after the administration of idarucizumab, on the basis of the determination at a central laboratory of the dilute thrombin time or ecarin clotting time. A key secondary end point was the restoration of hemostasis. Results This interim analysis included 90 patients who received idarucizumab (51 patients in group A and 39 in group B). Among 68 patients with an elevated dilute thrombin time and 81 with an elevated ecarin clotting time at baseline, the median maximum percentage reversal was 100% (95% confidence interval, 100 to 100). Idarucizumab normalized the test results in 88 to 98% of the patients, an effect that was evident within minutes. Concentrations of unbound dabigatran remained below 20 ng per milliliter at 24 hours in 79% of the patients. Among 35 patients in group A who could be assessed, hemostasis, as determined by local investigators, was restored at a median of 11.4 hours. Among 36 patients in group B who underwent a procedure, normal intraoperative hemostasis was reported in 33, and mildly or moderately abnormal hemostasis was reported in 2 patients and 1 patient, respectively. One thrombotic event occurred within 72 hours after idarucizumab administration in a patient in whom anticoagulants had not been reinitiated. Conclusions Idarucizumab completely reversed the anticoagulant effect of dabigatran within minutes. (Funded by Boehringer Ingelheim; RE-VERSE AD ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02104947 .).

Concepts: Atrial fibrillation, Warfarin, Normal distribution, Anticoagulant, Heparin, Dabigatran, Anticoagulants, Direct thrombin inhibitor

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To determine the real world safety of dabigatran or rivaroxaban compared with warfarin in terms of gastrointestinal bleeding.

Concepts: Cohort study, Atrial fibrillation, Thrombosis, Warfarin, Anticoagulant, Heparin, Dabigatran, Anticoagulants

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Background Catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation is typically performed with uninterrupted anticoagulation with warfarin or interrupted non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulant therapy. Uninterrupted anticoagulation with a non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulant, such as dabigatran, may be safer; however, controlled data are lacking. We investigated the safety of uninterrupted dabigatran versus warfarin in patients undergoing ablation of atrial fibrillation. Methods In this randomized, open-label, multicenter, controlled trial with blinded adjudicated end-point assessments, we randomly assigned patients scheduled for catheter ablation of paroxysmal or persistent atrial fibrillation to receive either dabigatran (150 mg twice daily) or warfarin (target international normalized ratio, 2.0 to 3.0). Ablation was performed after 4 to 8 weeks of uninterrupted anticoagulation, which was continued during and for 8 weeks after ablation. The primary end point was the incidence of major bleeding events during and up to 8 weeks after ablation; secondary end points included thromboembolic and other bleeding events. Results The trial enrolled 704 patients across 104 sites; 635 patients underwent ablation. Baseline characteristics were balanced between treatment groups. The incidence of major bleeding events during and up to 8 weeks after ablation was lower with dabigatran than with warfarin (5 patients [1.6%] vs. 22 patients [6.9%]; absolute risk difference, -5.3 percentage points; 95% confidence interval, -8.4 to -2.2; P<0.001). Dabigatran was associated with fewer periprocedural pericardial tamponades and groin hematomas than warfarin. The two treatment groups had a similar incidence of minor bleeding events. One thromboembolic event occurred in the warfarin group. Conclusions In patients undergoing ablation for atrial fibrillation, anticoagulation with uninterrupted dabigatran was associated with fewer bleeding complications than uninterrupted warfarin. (Funded by Boehringer Ingelheim; RE-CIRCUIT ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02348723 .).

Concepts: Medical statistics, Stroke, Atrial fibrillation, Warfarin, Anticoagulant, Heparin, Dabigatran, Anticoagulants

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Although non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants are recommended for stroke prevention in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF) based on clinical trial results, there is a need for safety and efficacy data from unselected patients in everyday clinical practice. XANTUS investigated the safety and efficacy of the Factor Xa inhibitor rivaroxaban in routine clinical use in the NVAF setting.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Stroke, Atrial fibrillation, Warfarin, Anticoagulant, Heparin, Dabigatran, Anticoagulants

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Objective To determine the safety of direct oral anticoagulant (DOAC) use compared with warfarin use for the treatment of venous thromboembolism.Design Retrospective matched cohort study conducted between 1 January 2009 and 31 March 2016.Setting Community based, using healthcare data from six jurisdictions in Canada and the United States.Participants 59 525 adults (12 489 DOAC users; 47 036 warfarin users) with a new diagnosis of venous thromboembolism and a prescription for a DOAC or warfarin within 30 days of diagnosis.Main outcome measures Outcomes included hospital admission or emergency department visit for major bleeding and all cause mortality within 90 days after starting treatment. Propensity score matching and shared frailty models were used to estimate adjusted hazard ratios of the outcomes comparing DOACs with warfarin. Analyses were conducted independently at each site, with meta-analytical methods used to estimate pooled hazard ratios across sites.Results Of the 59 525 participants, 1967 (3.3%) had a major bleed and 1029 (1.7%) died over a mean follow-up of 85.2 days. The risk of major bleeding was similar for DOAC compared with warfarin use (pooled hazard ratio 0.92, 95% confidence interval 0.82 to 1.03), with the overall direction of the association favouring DOAC use. No difference was found in the risk of death (pooled hazard ratio 0.99, 0.84 to 1.16) for DOACs compared with warfarin use. There was no evidence of heterogeneity across centres, between patients with and without chronic kidney disease, across age groups, or between male and female patients.Conclusions In this analysis of adults with incident venous thromboembolism, treatment with DOACs, compared with warfarin, was not associated with an increased risk of major bleeding or all cause mortality in the first 90 days of treatment.Trial registration Clinical trials NCT02833987.

Concepts: Stroke, Thrombosis, Pulmonary embolism, Warfarin, Bleeding, Anticoagulant, Heparin, Anticoagulants

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Oral anticoagulant options have exploded. Dabigatran, a direct thrombin inhibitor, was approved for use in the United States in 2010 for the prevention of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation; this was rapidly followed by approval of the direct factor Xa inhibitors rivaroxaban, apixaban, and edoxaban within 5 years. The drive for the development of these drugs stemmed from the burdens associated with the use of the anticoagulants that had previously been available for outpatient treatment - subcutaneous heparins and oral vitamin K antagonists. Although these new drugs represent an important advance in anticoagulation therapy, concern over the lack of . . .

Concepts: Atrial fibrillation, Warfarin, Anticoagulant, Heparin, Dabigatran, Anticoagulants, Vitamin K, Direct thrombin inhibitor

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To determine the real world risk of gastrointestinal bleeding associated with the use of the novel oral anticoagulants dabigatran and rivaroxaban compared with warfarin.

Concepts: Atrial fibrillation, Thrombosis, Pulmonary embolism, Warfarin, Anticoagulant, Heparin, Dabigatran, Anticoagulants

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 To study the effectiveness and safety of the non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (novel oral anticoagulants, NOACs) dabigatran, rivaroxaban, and apixaban compared with warfarin in anticoagulant naïve patients with atrial fibrillation.

Concepts: Stroke, Atrial fibrillation, Thrombosis, Warfarin, Anticoagulant, Heparin, Dabigatran, Anticoagulants

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Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is the most devastating adverse event in patients receiving oral anticoagulation. There is only sparse evidence regarding ICH related to the use of non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulant (NOAC) agents.

Concepts: Stroke, Anticoagulant, Anticoagulants