Objective: The study objective was to determine if peri-operative bridging anticoagulation in patients with atrial fibrillation is beneficial or harmful. Design: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Setting: Inpatient or in-hospital setting. Participants: Adults with atrial fibrillation having a CHADS2 score >1 undergoing elective surgical procedure on anticoagulation. Methods: A systemic search of multiple databases (Cochrane, Medline, PubMed) was performed regarding studies conducted on efficacy and safety of perioperative bridging anticoagulation in patients with atrial fibrillation. Studies identified were reviewed by two authors individually before inclusion. The results were then pooled using Review Manager to determine the combined effect. Stroke/systemic embolism was considered as the primary efficacy outcome. Major bleeding was the primary safety outcome. Results: The systematic search revealed 108 potential articles.The full texts of 28 articles were retrieved for assessment of eligibility. After full text review, 25 articles were excluded. Three articles met inclusion criteria. No significant difference in stroke/systemic embolism with bridging anticoagulation was noted (risk ratio, 1.25-95% confidence interval [CI], 0.55–2.85). Bridging was associated with significantly higher risk of major bleeding (risk ratio, 3.29-95% CI, 2.25–4.81). Conclusion: An individualized approach is required when initiating peri-operative bridging anticoagulation. There is certainly a higher risk of bleeding with bridging anticoagulation and no difference in stroke/systemic embolism. However, the results cannot be extrapolated to patients who have valvular atrial fibrillation or CHADS2 score of 5 or greater.
- Atrial fibrillation
- Perioperative anticoagulation
- Systemic embolism and bleeding
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Community and Home Care