Management and Outcomes of Major Bleeding during Treatment with Dabigatran or Warfarin
Background—The aim of this study was to compare the management and prognosis of major bleeding in patients treated with dabigatran or warfarin.
Methods and Results—Two independent investigators reviewed bleeding reports from 1,034 individuals with 1,121 major bleeds enrolled in 5 phase III trials comparing dabigatran with warfarin in 27,419 patients treated for 6 to 36 months. Patients with major bleeds on dabigatran (n=627 of 16,755) were older, had lower creatinine clearance and more frequently used aspirin or non-steroid anti-inflammatory agents than those on warfarin (n=407 of 10,002). The 30-day mortality after the first major bleed tended to be lower in the dabigatran group (9.1%) than in the warfarin group (13.0%; pooled odds ratio [OR] 0.68, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.46-1.01; p=0.057). After adjustment for sex, age, weight, renal function and concomitant antithrombotic therapy, the pooled OR for 30-day mortality with dabigatran versus warfarin was 0.66 (95% CI: 0.44-1.00; p=0.051). Major bleeds in dabigatran patients were more frequently treated with blood transfusions (423/696, 61%) than bleeds in warfarin patients (175/425, 42%; p<0.001) but less frequently with plasma (dabigatran, 19.8%; warfarin, 30.2%; p<0.001). Patients who experienced a bleed had shorter stays in the intensive care unit if they had previously received dabigatran (mean 1.6 nights) compared with those who had received warfarin (mean 2.7 nights; p=0.01).
Conclusions—Patients who experienced major bleeding on dabigatran required more red cell transfusions but received less plasma, required a shorter stay in intensive care and had a trend to lower mortality compared with those who had major bleeding on warfarin.
- Received February 28, 2013.
- Revision received September 16, 2013.
- Accepted September 23, 2013.