Apixaban is increasingly used for stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation. Data about the safety of left atrial radiofrequency ablation procedures under continuous apixaban therapy are lacking. We performed a matched-cohort study of patients undergoing left atrium ablation procedures for atrial fibrillation or left atrial flutter. For each patient on apixaban, 2 patients on phenprocoumon were matched by age, gender, and type of arrhythmia. The primary safety end point was a composite of bleeding, thromboembolic events, and death. We identified 105 consecutive patients (35 women; mean age 63 years) on apixaban and matched 210 phenprocoumon patients (70 women, mean age 64 years). The primary end point was met in 11 patients of the apixaban group and 26 patients of the phenprocoumon group (10.5% vs 12.3%, p = 0.71). Major bleeding complications occurred in 1 patient of the apixaban group and 1 patient of the phenprocoumon group (1% vs 0.5%, p >0.99). Minor bleeding complications were observed in 10 patients of the apixaban group and 25 patients of the phenprocoumon group (9.5% vs 11.9%, p = 0.61). No patient in either group experienced a thromboembolic event and no patient died. In patients on apixaban, no clinical variable was predictive for bleeding complications. Left atrial ablation procedures under continuous oral anticoagulation with apixaban are feasible and as safe as under continuous oral anticoagulation with phenprocoumon.
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