For warfarin-treated patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) at low thromboembolic risk, recent studies have shown harm associated with periprocedural bridging using low-molecular-weight heparin. Clinician surveys have indicated a preference toward excessive bridging, especially among noncardiologists; however, little is known about actual practice patterns in these patients. We performed a retrospective evaluation of bridging in the setting of gastrointestinal endoscopy. We identified 938 patients with AF on warfarin who underwent esophagogastroduodenoscopy or colonoscopy between 2012 and 2016 at a tertiary health center. Urgent, inpatient, or advanced endoscopic procedures were excluded. Clinical variables were abstracted using a predefined data dictionary. Values were expressed as means and compared using a t test or a chi-squared test as appropriate. Three hundred seventy-four patients met criteria for analysis. Twenty-five percent of these patients received bridging therapy, including 11% of patients with CHADS2 scores of 0 to 2 without valvular AF or previous venous thromboembolism. Of the clinical variables assessed, CHADS2, CHA2DS2-VASc, and a history of stroke were the strongest predictors of bridging. Cardiologists were also significantly less likely to prescribe bridging than noncardiology providers (18% vs 30%, p = 0.011); this effect was significant when controlling for CHADS2, CHA2DS2-VASc, or stroke history. In conclusion, patients with AF on warfarin receive excessive low-molecular-weight heparin bridging in the setting of endoscopy; the lower rates of bridging observed among cardiologists suggests a need for their increased involvement in this decision making.
Published by Elsevier Inc.