2015 Volume 54 Issue 10 Pages 1167-1173
Objective Uninterrupted oral warfarin strategy has become the standard protocol to prevent complications during catheter ablation (CA) for the treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF). However, little is known about the safety and efficacy of uninterrupted dabigatran therapy in patients undergoing CA for AF. Therefore, this study investigated the safety and efficacy of uninterrupted dabigatran therapy and compared the findings with those for uninterrupted warfarin therapy.
Methods Bleeding and thromboembolic events during the periprocedural period were evaluated in 363 consecutive patients who underwent CA for AF at Nagoya University Hospital, and received uninterrupted dabigatran (n=173) or uninterrupted warfarin (n=190) for periprocedural anticoagulation.
Results A total of 27 (7%) patients experienced either bleeding or thromboembolic complications. Major bleeding complications occurred in 2 (1%) patients in the dabigatran group (DG) and 2 (1%) patients in the warfarin group (WG). Eight (5%) patients in the DG and 9 (5%) patients in the WG experienced groin hematoma, a type of minor bleeding complication. Meanwhile, no patient in the DG and 1 (1%) in the WG developed cerebral ischemic stroke. Overall, there was no significant difference between the groups for any category. The activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT) independently predicted periprocedural complications in the DG.
Conclusion Uninterrupted dabigatran therapy in CA for AF thus may be a safe and effective anticoagulant therapy, and appears to be closely similar to continuous warfarin; however, it is essential to pay close attention to the APTT values when using dabigatran during CA.