Lege Artis Medicinae

[Perioperative management of patients taking new oral anticoagulants - dabigatran in focus]

MÁRK László

SEPTEMBER 20, 2015

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2015;25(08-09)

[Appearance of new oral anticoagulants (NOAC) on the market requires a basically new approach from the doctors compared to vitamin K antagonists (VKA), the only oral anticoagulants used for several decades. These new drugs are at least as effective in the prevention of thrombotic events as the old ones and have the advantage that no regular laboratory monitoring is needed. Compared to the VKA a different management is required also in the perioperative care of patients taking NOAC. There is no need for bridge therapy, i.e. low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH). The smaller surgical procedures can be performed 24 hours after the last dose of NOAC if it is administered once a day or 12 hours in case of agents administered twice a day. When a large surgical procedure is planned the drug should be stopped 24-96 hours before. The therapy should be resumed 6-8 hours after the procedure in low, 48-72 hours later in high bleeding risk cases. In a Canadian prospective study a protocol was used in which the stopping and resumption of dabigatran was recommended based on the bleeding risk and its half-life depending on the renal function. In 541 surgeries (60% with standard, 40% with increased bleeding risk) the occurrence of serious bleeding events was 1.8%, that of minor bleedings 5.2%. During the study one thrombotic event (TIA) occurred (0.2%). At the end of the article the author also makes a recommendation for stopping and resuming dabigatran therapy in case of tooth extraction, endoscopic biopsy and cholecystectomy.]

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