Internal and Emergency Medicine

, Volume 13, Issue 7, pp 989–992 | Cite as

Direct oral anticoagulants: what can we learn?

  • Francesco Marongiu
  • Doris BarcellonaEmail author


Direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) represent an innovation because they avoid periodic laboratory monitoring, and also reduce cerebral bleeding. An examination of the performance of DOACs versus warfarin in randomized clinical trials dedicated to atrial fibrillation would reveal the poor performance of warfarin because the percentage of major bleeding is always above 3%; however, the percentage of major bleeding is less than half of that when the management is done in anticoagulation clinics (ACs). Several years ago, a common opinion was that ACs would disappear as soon as DOACs enter the market. We proposed then that ACs could be transformed into thrombosis centres (TCs) because we envisaged many new activities in terms of diagnostic tools and therapeutic choices. After the introduction of DOACs, the role of the ACs has been re-evaluated because their role may be crucial in selecting both the most appropriate diagnostic approach and the best therapeutic option (including anti-vitamin K drugs) for the single patient. TCs can organize a regular follow-up to improve patient adherence to DOACs. Marketing might have a role in the decision making of the single doctor. Efforts should be made for limiting the relationships between doctors and pharmaceutical companies. It seems reasonable to better prepare doctors, during their university courses, for them to develop a greater scientific culture that would enable them to critically read clinical studies and acquire an independent opinion. Ideally, an expert in haemostasis and thrombosis should handle new and old anticoagulants.


Direct oral anticoagulants Anticoagulation clinics Warfarin Atrial fibrillation Thrombosis centers 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Statement of human and animal rights

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was not required for this type of study.


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Copyright information

© SIMI 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medical Sciences and Public HealthUniversity of CagliariCagliariItaly

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