The nephrologist’s anticoagulation treatment patterns/regimens in chronic hemodialysis patients with atrial fibrillation
The prevalence of atrial fibrillation (AF) is high in hemodialysis (HD) patients. It was suggested that oral anticoagulant therapy (OAT), the choice treatment for reducing the thromboembolic risk in AF patients, increases the incidence of both ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes in the HD population. Moreover, the therapy-related bleeding risk is particularly high in these patients. For these reasons there is no agreement on the use of OAT in HD patients with AF. The aim of this study was to evaluate the criteria adopted by nephrologists in prescribing OAT in HD patients with AF.
All the patients presenting AF (paroxysmal, persistent or permanent) at 31/10/2010 (n = 290) were recruited from 1529 HD patients from ten Italian HD centres. To detect factors related to OAT administration the main clinical features, CHADS2 and HASBLED scores were evaluated in logistic regression models.
The presence of permanent AF (OR = 4.28, p < 0.0001) was the only clinical factor directly associated to OAT administration, while previous bleedings (OR = 0.35, p = 0.004) were inversely related. The CHADS2 score was not associated with OAT prescription (OR = 0.85, p = 0.08), while an inverse relation was found with the hemorrhagic risk score (OR = 0.74, p = 0.03).
A high AF prevalence was observed in our HD population, but less than 50 % of these patients received OAT. Patients with permanent AF were more frequently treated with warfarin, while OAT administration was uncommon in those with previous bleedings. The thromboembolic risk score was not associated with warfarin prescription, while there was an inverse relation with the hemorrhagic risk score.