Potential usefulness of activated charcoal (DOAC remove®) for dRVVT testing in patients receiving Direct Oral AntiCoagulants

Thromb Res. 2019 Dec;184:86-91. doi: 10.1016/j.thromres.2019.11.001. Epub 2019 Nov 5.


Introduction: Lupus Anticoagulant testing using dilute Russell Viper Venom Time (dRVVT) is challenging in patients receiving Direct Oral AntiCoagulants (DOAC) due to potential false positive results. In a multicenter study, we evaluated the in vitro removal of DOAC by activated charcoal (DOAC remove®), allowing reliable dRVVT testing.

Materials and methods: Patient samples were analyzed before and after treatment with DOAC remove®: 49 apixaban, 48 rivaroxaban, 24 dabigatran and 30 none. DOAC plasma concentrations were measured using anti-Xa or diluted thrombin time assays. In a subset of 28 samples, DOAC concentrations were also measured using HPLC-MS/MS following treatment with DOAC remove®. DRVVT was performed using STA-Staclot dRVVT Screen®/Confirm® (Stago) or LAC-Screening®/Confirmation® (Siemens).

Results: Baseline median [min-max] concentrations were 94 [<20-479] for apixaban, 107 [<20-501] for rivaroxaban and 135 ng/mL [<20-792] for dabigatran; dRVVT screen ratio/confirm ratio was positive in 47, 90 and 42% of apixaban, rivaroxaban and dabigatran samples. Treatment with DOAC remove® did not affect dRVVT results in non-DOAC patients while it resulted in DOAC concentrations <20 ng/mL in 82, 98 and 100% of samples, respectively. Concentrations were <5 ng/mL with HPLC-MS/MS in 5 out of 10, 8 out of 10 and 7 out of 8 samples, respectively. DOAC remove® corrected DOAC interference with dRVVT assays in 76, 85 and 95% of the patients, respectively.

Conclusion: For dRVVT testing in DOAC patients, we suggest the use of DOAC remove® for every rivaroxaban sample, whereas it might only be used in positive apixaban and dabigatran samples. A residual DOAC interference cannot be ruled out in case of persisting dRVVT positive results after treatment with DOAC remove®.

Keywords: Antiphospholipid syndrome; Apixaban; Dabigatran; Lupus anticoagulant; Rivaroxaban.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Anticoagulants / pharmacology
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use*
  • Blood Coagulation Tests / methods*
  • Charcoal / pharmacology
  • Charcoal / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lupus Coagulation Inhibitor / blood*
  • Male


  • Anticoagulants
  • Lupus Coagulation Inhibitor
  • Charcoal