Assessment and mitigation of bleeding risk in atrial fibrillation and venous thromboembolism: A Position Paper from the ESC Working Group on Thrombosis, in collaboration with the European Heart Rhythm Association, the Association for Acute CardioVascular Care and the Asia-Pacific Heart Rhythm Society

Diana Gorog, Ying X. Gue, Tze-Fan Chao, Laurent Fauchier, Jose Luis Ferreiro, Kurt Huber, Stavros V Konstantinidis, Deirdre A Lane, Francisco Marin, Jonas Odgren, Tatjana Potpara, Vanessa Roldan, Andrea Rubboli, Dirk Sibbing, Hung-Fat Tse, Gemma Vilahur, Gregory Y H Lip

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Whilst there is a clear clinical benefit of oral anticoagulation (OAC) in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) and venous thromboembolism (VTE) in reducing the risks of thromboembolism, major bleeding events (especially intracranial bleeds) may still occur and be devastating. The decision to initiate and continue anticoagulation is often based on a careful assessment of both the thromboembolism and bleeding risk. The more common and validated bleeding risk factors have been used to formulate bleeding risk stratification scores, but thromboembolism and bleeding risk factors often overlap. Also, many factors that increase bleeding risk are transient and modifiable, such as variable international normalized ratio values, surgical procedures, vascular procedures, or drug-drug and food-drug interactions. Bleeding risk is also not a static 'one off' assessment based on baseline factors but is dynamic, being influenced by ageing, incident comorbidities, and drug therapies. In this Consensus Document, we comprehensively review the published evidence and propose a consensus on bleeding risk assessments in patients with AF and VTE, with the view to summarizing 'best practice' when approaching antithrombotic therapy in these patients. We address the epidemiology and size of the problem of bleeding risk in AF and VTE, review established bleeding risk factors, and summarize definitions of bleeding. Patient values and preferences, balancing the risk of bleeding against thromboembolism are reviewed, and the prognostic implications of bleeding are discussed. We propose consensus statements that may help to define evidence gaps and assist in everyday clinical practice.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbereuac020
Pages (from-to)1844-1871
Number of pages28
JournalEP Europace
Volume24
Issue number11
Early online date22 Mar 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2022

Keywords

  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Bleeding
  • Oral anticoagulation
  • Risk assessment
  • Venous thromboembolism

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