Safety of continuous anticoagulation with dabigatran during implantation of cardiac rhythm devices

Am J Cardiol. 2013 Apr 15;111(8):1165-8. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2012.12.046. Epub 2013 Jan 26.


The perioperative bleeding risk associated with therapeutic anticoagulation at cardiac implantable electronic device implantation has previously been demonstrated to vary by the specific anticoagulant used. Although uninterrupted anticoagulation with warfarin appears to be safe, heparin products have been shown to increase the risk of perioperative bleeding. However, the risk associated with cardiac implantable electronic device implantation with anticoagulation using dabigatran, a novel oral direct thrombin inhibitor, is not known. We performed a prospective observational study of patients receiving dabigatran for anticoagulation who underwent cardiac implantable electronic device implantation from June 2011 through May 2012. The study end points included thromboembolic and bleeding complications within 30 days of surgery. Major bleeding complications were defined as bleeding requiring surgical intervention, prolongation of hospitalization, and discontinuation of the anticoagulant or transfusion of blood products within 30 days of surgery. Minor bleeding complications included the development of a hematoma not requiring additional intervention. The thrombotic end points included stroke, transient ischemic attack, myocardial infarction, pulmonary embolism, and deep vein thrombosis. A total of 25 patients were identified for inclusion. During the index hospitalization, no thromboembolic or bleeding complications developed. No major bleeding complications occurred within 30 days of surgery. One minor bleeding event (4%) occurred within 30 days of surgery in 1 patient who was also receiving dual antiplatelet therapy. In conclusion, although no thromboembolic or major bleeding events were observed, additional studies are required to define the optimal antithrombotic management in the perioperative period.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antithrombins / adverse effects*
  • Benzimidazoles / adverse effects*
  • Comorbidity
  • Dabigatran
  • Defibrillators, Implantable*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pacemaker, Artificial*
  • Prospective Studies
  • beta-Alanine / adverse effects
  • beta-Alanine / analogs & derivatives*


  • Antithrombins
  • Benzimidazoles
  • beta-Alanine
  • Dabigatran