Periprocedural anticoagulation during left atrial ablation: interrupted and uninterrupted vitamin K-antagonists or uninterrupted novel anticoagulants

Maria Brinkmeier-Theofanopoulou, Panagiotis Tzamalis, Susan Wehrkamp-Richter, Andrea Radzewitz, Matthias Merkel, Gerhard Schymik, Gesine van Mark, Peter Bramlage, Claus Schmitt, Armin Luik
BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 2018 April 27, 18 (1): 71

BACKGROUND: There is a lack of data on anticoagulation requirements during ablation of atrial fibrillation (AF). This study compares different oral anticoagulation (OAC) strategies to evaluate risk of bleeding and thromboembolic complications.

METHODS: We conducted a single-centre study in patients undergoing left atrial ablation of AF. Three groups were defined: 1) bridging: interrupted vitamin-K-antagonists (VKA), INR ≤2, and bridging with heparin; 2) VKA: uninterrupted VKA and INR of > 2; 3) DOAC: uninterrupted direct oral anticoagulants. Bleeding complications, thromboembolic events and peri-procedural heparin doses were assessed.

RESULTS: In total, 780 patients were documented. At 48 h, major complications were more common in the bridging group compared to uninterrupted VKA and DOAC groups (OR: 3.42, 95% CI: 1.29-9.10 and OR: 3.01, 95% CI: 1.19-7.61), largely driven by differences in major pericardial effusion (OR: 4.86, 95% CI: 1.56-15.99 and OR: 4.466, 95% CI, 1.52-13.67) and major vascular events (OR: 2.92, 95% CI: 0.58-14.67 and OR: 9.72, 95% CI: 1.00-94.43). Uninterrupted VKAs and DOACs resulted in similar odds of major complications (overall OR: 1.14, 95% CI: 0.44-2.92), including cerebrovascular events (OR: 1.21, 95% CI: 0.27-5.45). However, whereas only TIAs were observed in DOAC and bridging groups, strokes also occurred in the VKA group. Rates of minor complications (pericardial effusion, vascular complications, gastrointestinal hemorrhage) and major/minor groin hemorrhage were similar across groups.

CONCLUSION: Our dataset illustrates that uninterrupted VKA and DOAC have a better risk-benefit profile than VKA bridging. Bridging was associated with a 4.5× increased risk of complications and should be avoided, if possible.


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