The association of coagulation and atrial fibrillation: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Martijn J. Tilly, Sven Geurts, Angelo M. Pezzullo, Wichor M. Bramer, Natasja M. S. de Groot, Maryam Kavousi, Moniek P. M. de Maat*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
89 Downloads (Pure)


AIMS: While atrial fibrillation (AF) is suggested to induce a prothrombotic state, increasing thrombotic risk, it is also hypothesized that coagulation underlies AF onset. However, conclusive evidence is lacking. With this systematic review and meta-analysis, we aimed to summarize and combine the evidence on the associations between coagulation factors with AF in both longitudinal and cross-sectional studies. METHODS AND RESULTS: We systematically searched for longitudinal cohort and cross-sectional studies investigating AF and thrombosis. For longitudinal studies, pooled hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated. For cross-sectional studies, we determined pooled standardized mean differences (SMDs) and 95% CIs. A total of 17 longitudinal and 44 cross-sectional studies were included. In longitudinal studies, we found significant associations between fibrinogen (HR 1.05, 95% CI 1.00-1.10), plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1) (HR 1.06, 95% CI 1.00-1.12), and D-dimer (HR 1.10, 95% CI 1.02-1.19) and AF incidence. In cross-sectional studies, we found significantly increased levels of fibrinogen (SMD 0.47, 95% CI 0.20-0,74), von Willebrand factor (SMD 0.96, 95% CI 0.28-1.66), P-selectin (SMD 0.31, 95% CI 0.08-0.54), ß-thromboglobulin (SMD 0.82, 95% CI 0.61-1.04), Platelet Factor 4 (SMD 0.42, 95% CI 0.12-0.7), PAI-1 (1.73, 95% CI 0.26-3.19), and D-dimer (SMD 1.74, 95% CI 0.36-3.11) in AF patients, as opposed to controls. CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that higher levels of coagulation factors are associated with prevalent and incident AF. These associations are most pronounced with prevalent AF in cross-sectional studies. Limited evidence from longitudinal studies suggests a prothrombotic state underlying AF development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-39
Number of pages12
Issue number1
Early online date9 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology.


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