Novel oral anticoagulants in patients with renal insufficiency: a meta-analysis of randomized trials

Can J Cardiol. 2014 Aug;30(8):888-97. doi: 10.1016/j.cjca.2014.04.015. Epub 2014 Apr 18.


Background: Recent reports suggest altered antithrombotic efficacy and higher risk of bleeding with new oral anticoagulants (NOACs) in patients with renal insufficiency. A meta-analysis was performed to evaluate the efficacy and safety with recommended doses of NOAC compared with conventional treatment in patients with renal insufficiency.

Methods: PubMed, Cochrane Library, EMBASE, EBSCO, Web of Science, and CINAHL databases were searched from January 1, 2001 through March 23, 2014. Randomized controlled trials that compared NOACs (rivaroxaban, apixaban, and dabigatran) with comparators (vitamin K antagonist/warfarin, low molecular weight heparin, aspirin, placebo) were selected. We defined moderate renal insufficiency as creatinine clearance (estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR]) of 30-49 mL/min, and mild renal insufficiency as eGFR 50-79 mL/min.

Results: There were 40,693 patients with renal insufficiency in 10 trials. Compared with other anticoagulants in patients with mild renal insufficiency there was significantly less major or clinically relevant nonmajor bleeding (odds ratio [OR], 0.81; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.72-0.90) and stroke or systemic embolism (OR, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.54-0.92) with NOACs. Using random effects meta-analysis, there was significantly less stroke or systemic embolism (OR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.57-0.92) and a trend toward less major or clinically relevant nonmajor bleeding (OR, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.59-1.14) with the NOACs among patients with moderate renal insufficiency, and this became statistically significant when evaluated using a fixed effects model. NOACs showed efficiency comparable with conventional anticoagulants for prevention of venous thromboembolism or related mortality.

Conclusions: In patients with renal insufficiency, recommended doses of novel anticoagulants are noninferior and relatively safe compared with conventional anticoagulants.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use*
  • Benzimidazoles / therapeutic use
  • Dabigatran
  • Hemorrhage / chemically induced
  • Hemorrhage / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Morpholines / therapeutic use
  • Pyrazoles / therapeutic use
  • Pyridones / therapeutic use
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Renal Insufficiency / blood
  • Renal Insufficiency / complications*
  • Rivaroxaban
  • Stroke / prevention & control*
  • Thiophenes / therapeutic use
  • Thromboembolism / prevention & control*
  • beta-Alanine / analogs & derivatives
  • beta-Alanine / therapeutic use


  • Anticoagulants
  • Benzimidazoles
  • Morpholines
  • Pyrazoles
  • Pyridones
  • Thiophenes
  • beta-Alanine
  • apixaban
  • Rivaroxaban
  • Dabigatran