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Efficacy and Safety of Direct Oral Anticoagulants in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation and Liver Disease: a Meta-Analysis and Systematic Review

Abstract

Background

Liver disease is associated with increased bleeding risk. The efficacy and safety of direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) is a subject of contention in atrial fibrillation (AF) patients with liver disease.

Methods

Electronic databases (PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library) were searched to retrieve studies on the efficacy and safety of DOACs versus warfarin in AF patients with liver disease from January 1980 to April 2020. A meta-analysis was conducted using a random-effects model.

Results

Six studies involving 41,859 patients were included. Compared with warfarin, DOACs demonstrated significant reduction in ischemic stroke (HR, 0.68; 95% CI (0.54–0.86)), major bleeding (0.74 (0.59–0.92)), and intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) (0.48 (0.40–0.58)), with no significant effect on gastrointestinal bleeding (P = 0.893) in AF patients with liver disease. Similar results were observed in regular-dose, reduced-dose, and active liver disease subgroups, albeit Asian patients had a slight reduction in major bleeding (P = 0.055). Furthermore, the pooled estimates of individual DOAC subgroups indicated that dabigatran and apixaban led to greater safety in major bleeding (P < 0.001), ICH (P < 0.001), and gastrointestinal bleeding (P < 0.005) in these patients. The same trends were observed in AF patients with cirrhosis.

Conclusions

Our findings suggest that DOACs significantly reduce the risk of ischemic stroke, major bleeding, and ICH, with no significant effect on the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding in AF patients with liver disease compared with warfarin.

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Funding

This study was supported by grants from the Natural Science Foundation (No. 81960770 and No. 81960048) of PR China, the Natural Science Foundation (No. 2018MS08099 and No. 2018LH08034) of Inner Mongolia province, Project of Inner Mongolia Science & Technology Program (No. 201802112), Science technology millions of projects of Inner Mongolia Medical University and doctoral Sustentation Fund.

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Correspondence to Jian-jun Sun.

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Huang, ZC., Li, CQ., Liu, XY. et al. Efficacy and Safety of Direct Oral Anticoagulants in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation and Liver Disease: a Meta-Analysis and Systematic Review. Cardiovasc Drugs Ther 35, 1205–1215 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10557-020-07065-y

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10557-020-07065-y

Keywords

  • Anticoagulants
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Liver failure
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Meta-analysis