University of Hertfordshire

  • 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
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Original languageEnglish
Article numbereuac020
Number of pages28
JournalEP Eurospace
Early online date22 Mar 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Mar 2022


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.


© The Author(s) 2022. Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved.

ID: 27114924