Am J Med. 2021 Aug 29:S0002-9343(21)00508-8. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2021.07.023. Online ahead of print.
Left ventricular (LV) thrombus is a potentially serious complication affecting males and females with ischemic and nonischemic cardiomyopathy-specifically, after acute myocardial infarctions of the anterior left ventricular wall and long-standing tachyarrhythmias, respectively. LV thrombi pose significant risks for systemic embolization and devastating stroke events, while also demanding a treatment carrying inherent risks of its own. It is therefore imperative to have accurate detection of these ventricular thrombi and an appropriate understanding of the risks and benefits regarding management. Anticoagulation using warfarin has long been established as the gold-standard level of care in the current guidelines of the American College of Cardiology but the advent of direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) prompts a re-examination of the literature. The particular question we seek to answer lies in the efficacy of these drugs and the safety and outcomes when used to treat LV thrombi. Recent case reports, meta-analyses, and most recently, the breakthrough of 2 novel randomized controlled trials have shown DOACs to be a promising treatment for LV thrombus. Contrarily, some retrospective cohort reviews suggest less-than-promising outcomes. This meta-analysis hopes to provide a current, curated review of up-to-date safety and efficacy in the documented tales of DOACs and LV thrombi that has been published since early 2020-by selecting these curated case studies, and analyzing the most recent randomized controlled trials, we hope to engage the reader with clearer illustrations of the key components of both the advocacy and warning of this pharmaceutical intervention.