Effect of Direct Oral Anticoagulants Versus Warfarin on Patency in High-Risk Bypass Patients


      The use of warfarin for anticoagulation in thromboembolic disease has been the mainstay of treatment. Direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) have demonstrated equivalent anticoagulant effects, without increased bleeding risks or need for frequent monitoring. However, the role of DOACs remains unclear in the setting of replacing warfarin for high-risk peripheral artery disease (PAD) interventions. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of DOACs compared to warfarin during the postoperative period in patients that underwent a lower extremity high-risk bypass (HRB).


      The study is a single institution, retrospective review of all lower extremity HRBs between January 2012 and June 2021, who were previously placed on or started on anticoagulation with a DOAC or warfarin. The HRB group included all patients undergoing femoral to above or below knee bypass with an adjunct procedure, or below knee bypass with synthetic or composite vein conduit. All demographics, preoperative factors, and complications were evaluated with respect to DOAC versus warfarin.


      A total of 44 patients (28 males; average age 68.8 ± 10.9) underwent an HRB during the study period. There were no significant differences in demographics and preoperative characteristics between the 2 groups. Among patient comorbidities, coronary artery disease was found to be significantly higher in patients on DOACs (P = 0.03). The 12-month primary patency rate was 83.3% versus 57.1%, for DOAC versus warfarin respectively (P = 0.03). Multivariate analyses revealed that <30-day reinterventions contribute to 12-month patency (P = 0.02).


      Patients who underwent lower extremity HRB with postoperative DOAC appeared to exhibit higher graft patency rates than those who were placed on warfarin. Due to their low incidence of undesirable side effects and the lack of frequent monitoring, DOACs could be considered a safe alternative to warfarin in the postoperative period for patients with HRB.
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