Locations and Mucosal Lesions Responsible for Major Gastrointestinal Bleeding in Patients on Warfarin or Dabigatran Academic Article uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND AND AIM: Different oral anticoagulants may be associated with gastrointestinal bleeding (GIB) from different locations or mucosal lesions. We aimed to test this hypothesis. METHODS: Two blinded gastroenterologists independently analyzed source documents from the randomized evaluation of long-term anticoagulant therapy (RE-LY) trial of dabigatran 150 mg BID (D150), dabigatran 110 mg BID (D110) versus warfarin in non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF). RESULTS: Major GIB events (total n = 546) and life-threatening GIB events (n = 258) were more common with D150 versus warfarin (RR 1.57 [1.28-1.92] and RR 1.62 [1.20-2.18], respectively) and similar for D110 compared to warfarin (RR 1.11 [0.89-1.38] and RR 1.16 [0.84-1.61], respectively). Fatal bleeding was similarly rare across treatment groups. Lower GI major bleeding and life-threatening bleeding were more common with D150 compared to warfarin (RR 2.23 [1.47, 3.38] and RR 2.64 [1.36, 5.13], respectively) and with D110 compared to warfarin (RR 1.78 [1.16, 2.75] and RR 2.00 [1.00, 4.00], respectively). MGIB from colonic angiodysplasia was increased with dabigatran versus warfarin (P < 0.01 for both dose comparisons). Subacute and chronic MGIB events were more common with D150 than with warfarin (RR 1.72 [1.06, 2.78] and RR 1.66 [1.12, 2.45], respectively), as were hematochezia or melena (RR 1.67 [1.18, 2.36] and RR 1.72 [1.20, 2.47], respectively). CONCLUSIONS: In a chronic NVAF population, D150 but not D110 is associated with increased major and life-threatening GI bleeding in comparison with warfarin. At both dabigatran doses, increased bleeding from the colorectum, in particular from angiodysplasia, is seen.


  • Kolb, Jennifer M
  • Flack, Kathryn Friedman
  • Chatterjee-Murphy, Prapti
  • Desai, Jay
  • Wallentin, Lars C
  • Ezekowitz, Michael
  • Connolly, Stuart
  • Reilly, Paul
  • Brueckmann, Martina
  • Ilgenfritz, John
  • Aisenberg, James

publication date

  • July 2018