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Comparing the efficacy and safety of direct oral anticoagulants versus Vitamin K antagonists in patients with antiphospholipid syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Blood Coagul Fibrinolysis. 2022 Jul 22. doi: 10.1097/MBC.0000000000001153. Online ahead of print.


Thromboprophylaxis is the cornerstone strategy for thrombotic antiphospholipid syndrome (APS). Data comparing direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) to Vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) in the secondary prevention of thrombosis in APS patients remain contentious. We aim to review and analyse literature on the efficacy and safety of DOACs compared with VKAs in treating patients with APS. A literature search was performed from inception to 31 December 2021. Subgroups were analysed based on the risk stratification of APS profiles and different DOAC types. A total of nine studies with 1131 patients were included in the meta-analysis. High-risk APS patients (triple positive APS) who used DOACs displayed an increased risk of recurrent thrombosis [risk ratio = 3.65, 95% confidence interval (95% CI): 1.49-8.93; I2 = 29%, P = 0.005] compared with those taking VKAs. Similar risk of recurrent thrombosis or major bleeding was noted in low-risk APS patients (single or double antibody-positive) upon administering DOACs or VKAs. The utilization of Rivaroxaban was associated with a high risk of recurrent thromboses (RR = 2.63; 95% CI: 1.56-4.42; I2 = 0, P = 0.0003), particularly recurrent arterial thromboses (RR = 4.52; 95% CI: 1.99-10.29; I2 = 0, P = 0.18) in overall APS patients. Comparisons of the rate of recurrent thrombosis events and major bleeding events when using dabigatran or apixaban versus VKAs yielded no statistical differences. In the absence of contraindications, this meta-analysis suggests that VKAs remain the first-choice treatment for high-risk APS patients, with DOACs a more appropriate option for low-risk APS patients. Different DOACs may exhibit different levels of efficacy and safety for thromboprophylaxis in APS patients and require further exploration.

PMID:35867933 | DOI:10.1097/MBC.0000000000001153

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