Efficacy and safety of direct oral anticoagulants in patients undergoing elective electrical cardioversion: A real-world patient population

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Abstract

Background: Direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) have emerged as the preferred choice of oral anticoagulation in patients with atrial fibrillation. Randomized trials have demonstrated the efficacy and safety of DOAC in patients undergoing electrical cardioversion (ECV); however, there is limited real-world data. Objective: To evaluate the outcome of patients undergoing an elective ECV for atrial tachyarrhythmia in a tertiary referral center who were treated with DOAC or vitamin K antagonist (VKA) without routine trans esophageal echocardiography (TEE). Methods: This was a retrospective single-center cohort study of consecutive patients undergoing an elective ECV for atrial tachyarrhythmia from January 2013 to February 2020. The primary endpoints were thromboembolism (composite of stroke, transient ischemic attack or systemic embolism) and major bleeding events within 60 days. Results: A total of 1431 ECV procedures were performed in 920 patients. One-third of the procedures were performed under DOAC (N = 488, 34%) and the remainder of the procedures was performed under VKA (N = 943, 66%). There were no differences between groups with regard to demographic variables (mean age 62.4 ± 11.7, 72% men) and mean CHA2DS2-VASc score (2.3 ± 1.6); however, the VKA group had a higher proportion of patients with co-morbidity. Thromboembolism occurred in 0.41% in the DOAC group versus 0.64% in the VKA group (P = 0.72). Major bleeding events occurred in 0.41% in the DOAC group versus 0.11% in the VKA group (P = 0.27). Conclusion: In a real-world population, the rates of thromboembolism and major bleeding events were low after elective ECV in patients using DOAC or VKA, even without routine TEE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-102
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiology
Volume326
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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