Laboratory Tests in Assessing the Bleeding Risk in Patients Receiving Direct Oral Anticoagulants (DOACs)

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World Journal of Cardiovascular Diseases


Direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs)―apixaban, rivaroxaban and dabigatran have become the first line medications for patients with thromboembolism. However, DOAC therapy-associated bleeding complications remain the major clinical concern for these patients. This study compared laboratory test results from 82 patients with and 361 patients without DOAC-associated bleeding with the goal of determining the value of laboratory tests in assessing bleeding risk in these patients. There was no age or gender difference between patients with and without DOAC therapy-associated bleeding complications. Both prothrombin time (PT) and partial thromboplastin time (PTT) prolonged at the same time showed good correlation with bleeding complications for patients receiving dabigatran (91.7%) and rivaroxaban (41.2%). When comparing patients with bleeding and those without bleeding complications, impaired renal function showed high correlation (p < 0.01), impaired liver function showed moderate correlation (p = 0.03), and thrombocytopenia showed no correlation (p > 0.05) among patients with bleeding complications. A small population of patients had never experienced bleeding complications, despite the laboratory test results being similar to patients who suffered from bleeding complications. Laboratory tests may be useful in the assessment and prediction of bleeding complications in patients receiving DOAC therapy. However, it is important to incorporate both laboratory findings with the clinical information, such as concomitant antithrombotic agents and other underlying diseases in the decision making of DOAC therapy in order to reduce therapy-related bleeding risk.



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