JOURNAL OF THROMBOSIS AND THROMBOLYSIS, vol.50, no.2, pp.408-415, 2020 (SCI-Expanded)
Patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation who are under chronic oral anticoagulant therapy (OAC) treatment frequently require interruption of OAC treatment. By examining the presence of left atrial/left atrial appendage (LA/LAA) thrombus or dense spontaneous echo contrast (SEC) with transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) we aimed to develop an individualized strategy. To test the validity of CHA(2)DS(2)VASc score based recommendations was our secondary purpose. In this prospective study patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation on OAC therapy were included. Patients' baseline characteristics, CHA(2)DS(2)VASc and HASBLED scores, medications, type of invasive procedures and clinical events were recorded. Each patient underwent to TEE examination prior to the invasive procedure. Bridging anticoagulation was recommended only to patients with LA/LAA thrombus. We included 155 patients and mean CHA(2)DS(2)VASc score of the study population was 3.4 +/- 1.4. Seventy-one of them had LA/LAA thrombi or SEC on TEE examination and bridging anticoagulation was applied. OAC treatment was not bridged in 8 of 11 patients with prior cerebrovascular accident and 17 of 31 patients with CHA(2)DS(2)VASc score of > 4. 57 of 124 patients with CHA(2)DS(2)VASc score of <= 4 required bridging anticoagulation. There were 14 major bleedings decided according to ISTH bleeding classification. Major bleeding was observed only in patients underwent to high-risk bleeding procedure. In conclusion CHA(2)DS(2)VASc score by itself is not enough for decision-making regarding ischemic risk. Furthermore, since major bleedings occurred only in patients underwent to high-risk bleeding surgery, TEE-based individualisation may be a feasible approach particularly for those with high thromboembolic risk undergoing high-bleeding risk procedure.