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


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.

SUBMITTER: Kuo L 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5669162 | BioStudies | 2017-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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