Management of patients on antithrombotic therapy with severe infections: a joint clinical consensus statement of the ESC Working Group on Thrombosis, the ESC Working Group on Atherosclerosis and Vascular Biology, and the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis

Eur Heart J. 2023 Aug 22;44(32):3040-3058. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehad388.


Patients with severe infections and a pre-existing indication for antithrombotic therapy, i.e. antiplatelet agents, anticoagulant drugs, or their combinations, require integrated clinical counselling among coagulation, infectious disease, and cardiology specialists, due to sepsis-induced coagulopathy that frequently occurs. Bacterial and viral pathogens constitute an increasing threat to global public health, especially for patients with ongoing antithrombotic treatment who have a high risk of thrombotic recurrences and high susceptibility to severe infections with increased morbidity and mortality. Similarly, sepsis survivors are at increased risk for major vascular events. Coagulopathy, which often complicates severe infections, is associated with a high mortality and obligates clinicians to adjust antithrombotic drug type and dosing to avoid bleeding while preventing thrombotic complications. This clinical consensus statement reviews the best available evidence to provide expert opinion and statements on the management of patients hospitalized for severe bacterial or viral infections with a pre-existing indication for antithrombotic therapy (single or combined), in whom sepsis-induced coagulopathy is often observed. Balancing the risk of thrombosis and bleeding in these patients and preventing infections with vaccines, if available, are crucial to prevent events or improve outcomes and prognosis.

Keywords: Anticoagulant drugs; Antiplatelet drugs; Infections; Sepsis; Sepsis-induced coagulopathy.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Infections* / complications
  • Fibrinolytic Agents* / adverse effects
  • Fibrinolytic Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Hemorrhage / chemically induced
  • Hemorrhage / prevention & control
  • Hemostasis
  • Humans
  • Sepsis* / complications
  • Thrombosis* / drug therapy
  • Thrombosis* / etiology
  • Virus Diseases* / complications


  • Fibrinolytic Agents