Background: The use of warfarin in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) has been implicated with efficacy and safety concerns. Evidence on the role of direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) in this population is limited.
Methods: Electronic databases were searched and articles comparing the safety and efficacy of warfarin with apixaban or rivaroxaban were identified. Pooled hazard ratios (HR) were computed using a random-effects model.
Results: A total of eight articles consisting of 30,806 patients; (rivaroxaban 2196, apixaban 2745 and warfarin 25,865) were identified. The pooled HR for major bleeding events favored apixaban over warfarin (0.53, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.33-0.84, p = 0.008). Apixaban was similar to warfarin in terms of clinically relevant non-major bleeding (HR 1.08, 95% CI 0.64-1.84, p = 0.77) and stroke events (HR 1.09, 95% CI 0.85, 1.39, p = 0.99). There was no significant difference in the risk of major bleeding events (HR 0.95, 95% CI 0.50-1.81, p = 0.88) and stroke between rivaroxaban (HR 1.39, 95% CI, 0.59-3.29, p = 0.09) and warfarin. The combined results of major bleeding in the apixaban group were not affected by the sensitivity analysis.
Conclusions: Apixaban may have a lower risk of major bleeding and comparable risk of stroke when compared with warfarin in AF patients with ESRD.
Keywords: Apixaban; Atrial fibrillation; End stage renal disease; Rivaroxaban; Warfarin.
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