Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2021 Jun 9. doi: 10.1097/MCP.0000000000000787. Online ahead of print.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The pivotal phase III trials demonstrating efficacy and safety of direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) in the treatment of venous thromboembolism (VTE) or nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF) excluded patients with important and common comorbidities, including obesity, advanced chronic kidney disease, cirrhosis, cancer and antiphospholipid antibody syndrome. Despite the lack of large prospective randomized control trials in these patient populations, the use of DOACs has led to a wealth of efficacy and safety data within these groups.
RECENT FINDINGS: Retrospective studies, meta-analyses, national databases and pharmacokinetic data have shed light on the efficacy and safety of DOACs in these patient populations. Although DOACs should be avoided in those with high-risk triple positive antiphospholipid antibody syndrome, advanced cirrhosis, advanced kidney disease and intact gastrointestinal cancers, and used with caution in genitourinary cancers, their use extends beyond the inclusion criteria of the initial randomized control trials.
SUMMARY: DOACs have revolutionized anticoagulant management and have become the cornerstone for VTE treatment and stroke prevention in NVAF. The decision to use DOACs must be individualized. Patient preference, underlying comorbidities and informed consent must always be considered when selecting the most appropriate anticoagulant.