Direct Oral Anticoagulant- or Warfarin-Related Major Bleeding: Characteristics, Reversal Strategies, and Outcomes From a Multicenter Observational Study

Yan Xu, Sam Schulman, Dar Dowlatshahi, Anne M Holbrook, Christopher S Simpson, Lois E Shepherd, Philip S Wells, Antonio Giulivi, Tara Gomes, Muhammad Mamdani, Wayne Khuu, Eliot Frymire, Ana P Johnson
Chest 2017, 152 (1): 81-91

BACKGROUND: Direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) have expanded the armamentarium for antithrombotic therapy. Although DOAC-related major bleeding was associated with favorable outcomes compared with warfarin in clinical trials, warfarin effects were reversed in < 40% of cases, raising concerns about the generalizability of this finding.

METHODS: Consecutive patients ≥ 66 years presented to five tertiary care hospitals across three cities in Ontario, Canada from October 2010 to March 2015 with diagnoses that included hemorrhage. Charts were screened for association with DOAC or warfarin use; eligible cases were abstracted and linked to administrative databases.

RESULTS: Among 19,061 records screened, 2,002 (460 receiving DOAC, 1,542 receiving warfarin) were eligible. Reversal agents (72.9% vitamin K, 40.7% prothrombin complex concentrates) were frequently used in warfarin bleeding events. Red blood cell transfusions occurred more often in DOAC bleeding events than in warfarin events (52.0% vs 39.5%; adjusted relative risk [aRR], 1.32; 95% CI, 1.19-2.47). However, units of blood products transfused were not different between the two groups. Thirty-four DOAC cases (7.4%) received activated prothrombin complex concentrates or recombinant factor VIIa. In-hospital mortality was lower following DOAC bleeding events (9.8% vs 15.2%; aRR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.49-0.89), although differences in 30-day mortality did not reach statistical significance (12.6% vs 16.3%; aRR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.61-1.03).

CONCLUSIONS: In this unselected cohort of patients with oral anticoagulant-related hemorrhage with high rates of warfarin reversal, in-hospital mortality was lower among DOAC-associated bleeding events. These findings support the safety of DOACs in routine care and present useful baseline measures for evaluations of DOAC-specific reversal agents.

Full Text Links

We have located open access full text paper links.


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"