Revista Española de Cardiología (English Edition) Revista Española de Cardiología (English Edition)
Rev Esp Cardiol. 2019;72:305-16 - Vol. 72 Num.04 DOI: 10.1016/j.rec.2018.03.009

Direct Oral Anticoagulants Versus Vitamin K Antagonists in Real-life Patients With Atrial Fibrillation. A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Carlos Escobar a,, Julio Martí-Almor b, Alejandro Pérez Cabeza c, M. José Martínez-Zapata d

a Departamento de Cardiología, Hospital La Paz, Madrid, Spain
b Servicio de Cardiología, Hospital del Mar, Barcelona, Spain
c Servicio de Cardiología, Hospital Costa del Sol, Marbella, Málaga, Spain
d Institut d’Investigació Biomèdica Sant Pau (IIB Sant Pau), CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública CIBERESP, Barcelona, Spain

Keywords

Apixaban. Atrial fibrillation. Clinical practice. Dabigatran. Direct oral anticoagulants. Meta-analysis. Rivaroxaban. Warfarin.

Abstract

Introduction and objectives

To assess the effectiveness of direct oral anticoagulants vs vitamin K antagonists in real-life patients with atrial fibrillation.

Methods

A systematic review was performed according to Cochrane methodological standards. The results were reported according to the PRISMA statement. The ROBINS-I tool was used to assess risk of bias.

Results

A total of 27 different studies publishing data in 30 publications were included. In the studies with a follow-up up to 1 year, apixaban (HR, 0.93; 95%CI, 0.71-1.20) and dabigatran (HR, 0.95; 95%CI, 0.80-1.13) did not significantly reduce the risk of ischemic stroke vs warfarin, whereas rivaroxaban significantly reduced this risk (HR, 0.83; 95%CI, 0.73-0.94). Apixaban (HR, 0.66; 95%CI, 0.55-0.80) and dabigatran (HR, 0.83; 95%CI, 0.70-0.97) significantly reduced the major bleeding risk vs warfarin, but not rivaroxaban (HR, 1.02; 95%CI, 0.95-1.10), although with a high statistical heterogeneity among studies. Apixaban (HR, 0.56; 95%CI, 0.42-0.73), dabigatran (HR, 0.45; 95%CI, 0.39-0.51), and rivaroxaban (HR, 0.66; 95%CI, 0.49-0.88) significantly reduced the risk of intracranial bleeding vs warfarin. Reduced doses of direct oral anticoagulants were associated with a slightly better safety profile, but with a marked reduction in stroke prevention effectiveness.

Conclusions

Data from this meta-analysis suggest that, vs warfarin, the stroke prevention effectiveness and bleeding risk of direct oral anticoagulants may differ in real-life patients with atrial fibrillation.

1885-5857/© 2019 Sociedad Española de Cardiología. Published by Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved

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