Anticoagulating patients with high-risk acquired thrombophilias

Blood. 2018 Nov 22;132(21):2219-2229. doi: 10.1182/blood-2018-05-848697.


Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), heparin-induced thrombocytopenia, and paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria are 3 acquired thrombophilias that carry a high risk of venous and arterial thromboembolism. Management of these conditions has largely included anticoagulation with a vitamin K antagonist after an initial period of a parenteral anticoagulant, for as long as the thrombotic risk is still present. The available evidence for the use of direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) is limited and primarily consists of case series and cohort studies, which are summarized in this chapter. Randomized trials evaluating DOACs in patients with APS are reviewed. Further research is needed prior to widely adopting DOACs for use in these high-risk acquired thrombophilias; however, there may be selected low-risk subgroups where DOAC use is possible after careful consideration and patient discussion.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use*
  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome / complications
  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Disease Management
  • Hemoglobinuria, Paroxysmal / complications
  • Hemoglobinuria, Paroxysmal / drug therapy*
  • Heparin / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Thrombocytopenia / chemically induced
  • Thrombocytopenia / complications
  • Thrombocytopenia / drug therapy*
  • Thrombophilia / complications
  • Thrombophilia / drug therapy*
  • Thrombosis / etiology
  • Thrombosis / prevention & control*
  • Vitamin K / antagonists & inhibitors


  • Anticoagulants
  • Vitamin K
  • Heparin