Ignoring instead of chasing after coagulation factor VII during warfarin management: an interrupted time series study

Blood. 2021 May 20;137(20):2745-2755. doi: 10.1182/blood.2020008698.

Abstract

During warfarin management, variability in prothrombin time-based international normalized ratio (PT-INR) is caused, in part, by clinically inconsequential fluctuations in factor VII (FVII). The new factor II and X (Fiix)-prothrombin time (Fiix-PT) and Fiix-normalized ratio (Fiix-NR), unlike PT-INR, are only affected by reduced FII and FX. We assessed the incidence of thromboembolism (TE) and major bleeding (MB) in all 2667 patients on maintenance-phase warfarin managed at our anticoagulation management service during 30 months; 12 months prior to and 18 months after replacing PT-INR monitoring with Fiix-NR monitoring. Months 13 to 18 were predefined as transitional months. Using 2-segmented regression, a breakpoint in the monthly incidence of TE became evident 6 months after test replacement, that was followed by a 56% reduction in incidence (from 2.82% to 1.23% per patient-year; P = .019). Three-segmented regression did not find any significant trend in TE incidence (slope, +0.03) prior to test replacement; however, during months 13 to 18 and 19 to 30, the incidence of TE decreased gradually (slope, -0.12; R2 = 0.20; P = .007). The incidence of MB (2.79% per patient-year) did not differ. Incidence comparison during the 12-month Fiix and PT periods confirmed a statistically significant reduction (55-62%) in TE. Fiix monitoring reduced testing, dose adjustments, and normalized ratio variability and prolonged testing intervals and time in range. We conclude that ignoring FVII during Fiix-NR monitoring in real-world practice stabilizes the anticoagulant effect of warfarin and associates with a major reduction in TEs without increasing bleeding.