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JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Oral Anticoagulation in Patients With Liver Disease

Arman Qamar, Muthiah Vaduganathan, Norton J Greenberger, Robert P Giugliano
Journal of the American College of Cardiology 2018 May 15, 71 (19): 2162-2175
29747837
Patients with liver disease are at increased risks of both thrombotic and bleeding complications. Many have atrial fibrillation (AF) or venous thromboembolism (VTE) necessitating oral anticoagulant agents (OACs). Recent evidence has contradicted the assumption that patients with liver disease are "auto-anticoagulated" and thus protected from thrombotic events. Warfarin and non-vitamin K-antagonist OACs have been shown to reduce thrombotic events safely in patients with either AF or VTE. However, patients with liver disease have largely been excluded from trials of OACs. Because all currently approved OACs undergo metabolism in the liver, hepatic dysfunction may cause increased bleeding. Thus, the optimal anticoagulation strategy for patients with AF or VTE who have liver disease remains unclear. This review discusses pharmacokinetic and clinical studies evaluating the efficacy and safety of OACs in patients with liver disease and provides a practical, clinically oriented approach to the management of OAC therapy in this population.

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