Direct oral anticoagulants in patients with liver cirrhosis: A systematic review
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INTRODUCTION: Anticoagulant treatment in patients with liver cirrhosis is challenging. The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate clinical outcomes of direct oral anticoagulant (DOAC) therapy in cirrhosis patients. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A systematic search was performed in MEDLINE, Embase, and conference proceedings up to November 7th, 2017, for studies that evaluated the efficacy and safety of DOACs in cirrhosis patients with venous thromboembolism (VTE), splanchnic vein thrombosis (SVT), or atrial fibrillation (AF). Two authors independently screened titles, abstracts, and full-text articles, and assessed risk of bias. A meta-analysis could not be performed due to heterogeneity of the included studies. RESULTS: Of the 2927 articles assessed, five retrospective cohort studies were included (n = 239, including 20 patients overlap). All studies had fair methodological quality. Two studies evaluated DOAC treatment only, and three also evaluated vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) or low-molecular-weight heparins (LMWHs). Recurrent VTE (DOAC n = 12, LMWH/VKA n = 8) or ischemic stroke (DOAC n = 37, LMWH/VKA n = 9) occurred in none of the patients. Progression of VTE was 8% with DOACs (n = 12) and 13% with VKAs and LWWH (n = 8). Recurrent SVT occurred in 0 to 4% with DOACs (n = 31). Progression of SVT was 0 to 5% with DOACs (n = 24) and 0 to 47% with VKAs and LMWH (n = 33). Major bleeding risk ranged from 4 to 15% with DOACs (n = 172) and from 7 to 28% with VKAs and LMWH (n = 67). All-cause mortality risk was 6% with DOACs (n = 36). CONCLUSIONS: There is paucity of data on the efficacy and safety of DOACs in patients with cirrhosis. This analysis suggests that DOACs may be effective and safe for treatment of VTE, SVT, and AF in these patients.
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