Intern Emerg Med. 2020 Oct 18. doi: 10.1007/s11739-020-02526-6. Online ahead of print.
Liver disease has been long considered as a risk factor for bleeding for the presence of prolongation of global tests of clotting activation and low platelet count. For this reason, the use of anticoagulants in patients with liver disease and an indication to anticoagulation, such as atrial fibrillation of venous thrombosis, has been poorly considered. Furthermore, recent studies underscored the fact that patients with chronic liver disease may experience thrombosis in portal as well as systemic circulation and treatment with anticoagulants should be considered. The introduction of direct oral anticoagulants has increased therapeutic options for thromboprophylaxis; however, evidence on their safety and efficacy in specific populations, such as patients with liver disease, is still scarce and needs further investigation. Thus, atrial fibrillation patients with coexistent liver disease have been excluded from clinical trials with direct oral anticoagulants. Here, we provide an overview on mechanisms of thrombosis in patients with advanced chronic liver disease and a summary of evidence on the use of oral anticoagulants in patients with liver disease and portal vein thrombosis or atrial fibrillation.