Direct Oral Anticoagulants Plasma Levels Measurement: Clinical Usefulness from Trials and Real-World Data

Semin Thromb Hemost. 2021 Mar;47(2):150-160. doi: 10.1055/s-0041-1723770. Epub 2021 Feb 26.


Measurement of direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) activity is not routinely necessary. Indeed, evaluation of DOACs plasmatic concentration is discouraged for the majority of patients, due to the lack of outcome data supporting this approach. Nevertheless, DOAC measurements may be useful in emergency situations such as serious bleeding events, need for urgent invasive procedures, and acute ischemic stroke or in managing anticoagulation in "special populations" not adequately studied in clinical trials, for example the very elderly or those at the extremes of body weight. The aim of this review is to describe and summarize the methods for DOACs activity evaluation and the settings in which their plasma level measurement may be indicated, analyzing indications from scientific societies and evidence from clinical trials, as well as real world data on the usefulness of DOACs plasma levels "monitoring."

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Anticoagulants / pharmacology
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Plasma / drug effects*
  • Risk Factors


  • Anticoagulants