Objective: The atrial fibrillation-related stroke is clearly prevented by anticoagulation treatment, however, management of anticoagulation for AF in patients with cirrhosis represents a challenge due to bleeding concerns. To address this issue, a systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature was performed.
Methods: A literature search for studies reporting the incidence of AF in patients with cirrhosis was conducted using MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane Database, from inception through July 2018.
Results: 7 cohort studies including 19,798 patients with AF and cirrhosis were identified. The use of anticoagulation (%) among included studies ranged from 8.3% to 53.9%. Anticoagulation use for AF in patients with cirrhosis was significantly associated with a reduced risk of stroke, with a pooled HR of 0.58 (95%CI: 0.35-0.96). When compared with no anticoagulation, the use of anticoagulation was not significantly associated with a higher risk of bleeding, with a pooled HR of 1.45 (95%CI: 0.96-2.17). Compared to warfarin, the use of direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) was associated with a lower risk of bleeding among AF patients with cirrhosis.
Conclusion: Our study demonstrates that anticoagulation use for AF in patients with cirrhosis is associated with a reduced risk of stroke, without increasing significantly the risk of bleeding, when compared to those without anticoagulation.
Keywords: Anticoagulation; Atrial fibrillation; Cirrhosis; Liver failure; Meta-analysis; Systematic review.
Copyright © 2018 Editrice Gastroenterologica Italiana S.r.l. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.