Anticoagulation for the Treatment of Portal Vein Thrombosis in Cirrhosis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Comparative Studies

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J Clin Exp Hepatol. 2023 May-Jun;13(3):404-413. doi: 10.1016/j.jceh.2022.12.016. Epub 2023 Jan 3.


BACKGROUND: Portal vein thrombosis (PVT) leads to significant morbidity and mortality burden in patients with cirrhosis. An improved understanding of the utility of anticoagulation in patients with PVT will aid clinical decision making and inform future research. This meta-analysis aimed to evaluate the association between anticoagulation therapy and clinical outcomes in the context of treatment for PVT in cirrhosis.

METHODS: Pubmed, Embase, and Web of Science were searched from inception to February 13, 2022, for studies comparing the use of anticoagulation to other modalities as treatment for PVT in cirrhosis. Pooled odds ratios (OR) were calculated using a random-effects model for PVT improvement, recanalization, progression, bleeding events, and all-cause mortality in treatment studies.

RESULTS: We identified 944 records, of which 16 studies (n = 1126) examining anticoagulation as PVT treatment were included for subsequent analysis. Anticoagulation as PVT treatment was associated with PVT improvement (OR 3.64; 95% CI 2.56-5.17), PVT recanalization (OR 3.73; 95% CI 2.45-5.68), decreased PVT progression (OR 0.38; 95% CI 0.23-0.63), and decreased all-cause mortality (OR 0.47; 95% CI 0.29-0.75). The use of anticoagulation was not associated with bleeding events (OR 0.80; 95% CI 0.39-1.66). All analyses demonstrated low heterogeneity.

CONCLUSIONS: These results support the use of anticoagulation in cirrhosis as treatment for PVT. These findings may inform the clinical management of PVT and highlight the need for further studies such as large randomized controlled trials characterizing the safety and efficacy of anticoagulation for PVT in cirrhosis.

PMID:37250883 | PMC:PMC10213860 | DOI:10.1016/j.jceh.2022.12.016

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