Bridging therapy in patients on long‐term oral anticoagulants who require surgery: the Prospective Peri‐operative Enoxaparin Cohort Trial (PROSPECT)
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BACKGROUND: The peri-operative management of patients on oral anticoagulants (OACs) is a common clinical problem. Our aim was to determine the incidence of major bleeding during peri-operative administration of treatment-dose enoxaparin and the impact of the extensiveness of the procedure on the risk of bleeding. METHODS: We performed a prospective cohort study of 260 patients at 24 North American sites on OACs for atrial fibrillation or a history of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) requiring invasive or surgical procedures whose treating physician felt that bridging therapy was required. Warfarin was withheld, and once-daily s.c. enoxaparin (1.5 mg kg(-1)) was given peri-operatively. Patients were followed for 28 days after OAC was therapeutic. RESULTS: Major bleeding was observed in nine of 260 patients (3.5%, 95% CI: 1.6-6.5). The bleeding risk varied markedly by extensiveness of procedure: the incidence of major bleeding for invasive procedures, minor surgery and major surgery was 0.7% (95% CI: 0.02-3.7), 0% (95% CI: 0-5.0), and 20.0% (95% CI: 9.1-35.7), respectively. There were five thromboembolic events in total (1.9%, 95% CI: 0.6-4.4). There were four arterial events (2.3%, 95% CI: 0.6-5.7) in 176 patients with atrial fibrillation, and one venous event (1.0%, 95% ci: 0.03-5.7) in 96 patients with prior DVT/ CONCLUSIONS: Bridging therapy with once-daily therapeutic-dose enoxaparin administered primarily in an outpatient setting has a low incidence of major bleeding for patients undergoing invasive procedures and minor surgery. Further studies are needed to optimize the bridging strategy for patients undergoing major surgery.