Liver Cirrhosis in Patients With Atrial Fibrillation: Would Oral Anticoagulation Have a Net Clinical Benefit for Stroke Prevention?

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Liver Cirrhosis in Patients With Atrial Fibrillation: Would Oral Anticoagulation Have a Net Clinical Benefit for Stroke Prevention?

J Am Heart Assoc. 2017 Jun 23;6(6):

Authors: Kuo L, Chao TF, Liu CJ, Lin YJ, Chang SL, Lo LW, Hu YF, Tuan TC, Liao JN, Chung FP, Chen TJ, Lip GYH, Chen SA

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Patients with liver cirrhosis have been excluded from randomized clinical trials of oral anticoagulation therapy for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation. We hypothesized that patients with liver cirrhosis would have a positive net clinical benefit for oral anticoagulation when used for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation.
METHODS AND RESULTS: This study used the National Health Insurance Research Database in Taiwan. Among 289 559 atrial fibrillation patients aged ≥20 years, there were 10 336 with liver cirrhosis, and 9056 of them having a CHA2DS2-VASc score ≥2 were divided into 3 groups, that is, no treatment, antiplatelet therapy, and warfarin. Patients with liver cirrhosis had a higher risk of ischemic stroke (hazard ratio=1.10, P=0.046) and intracranial hemorrhage (hazard ratio=1.20, P=0.043) compared with those without. Among patients with liver cirrhosis, patients taking antiplatelet therapy had a similar risk of ischemic stroke (hazard ratio=1.02, 95%CI=0.88-1.18) compared to those without antithrombotic therapies, but the risk was significantly lowered among warfarin users (hazard ratio=0.76, 95%CI=0.58-0.99). For intracranial hemorrhage, there were no significant differences between those untreated and those taking antiplatelet therapy or warfarin. The use of warfarin was associated with a positive net clinical benefit compared with being untreated or receiving only antiplatelet therapy.
CONCLUSIONS: For atrial fibrillation patients with liver cirrhosis in the current analysis of an observational study, warfarin use was associated with a lower risk of ischemic stroke and a positive net clinical benefit compared with nontreatment, and thus, thromboprophylaxis should be considered for such patients.

PMID: 28645935 [PubMed - in process]

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