A Comparative Prospective Observational Study on the Use of Direct Oral Anticoagulants after Cardiac Surgery for the Management of Atrial Fibrillation.
Recently, guidelines recommended the use of direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) for the management of non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF). Postoperative atrial fibrillation (POAF) is the most common post-surgical complication of cardiac surgery, but the efficacy and safety of DOAC for POAF have rarely been investigated. We conducted a prospective observational study to investigate the efficacy and safety of DOAC administered immediately after POAF.In all, 135 patients that experienced POAF after cardiac surgery were treated with a DOAC. Primary endpoints were either bleeding or thromboembolic events. Secondary endpoints included changes in hemoglobin (Hb), prothrombin time (PT), activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT), serum creatinine (sCr), estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), and pleural/pericardial effusion.Patients were treated with apixaban (n = 31), edoxaban (n = 87), and rivaroxaban (n = 17). Major bleeding (p = 0.011) and gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding (p = 0.047) were significantly more frequent in the rivaroxaban group. Stroke was observed in one rivaroxaban group patient and none in the other two groups.DOAC as anticoagulation therapy for the early intervention of POAF following cardiac surgery is associated with a low incidence of major bleeding; a favorable safety profile and excellent efficacy were demonstrated for DOAC. Furthermore, our results indicate that the safety and efficacy of apixaban and edoxaban are better than rivaroxaban.