Guideline compliance for bridging anticoagulation use in vitamin-K antagonist patients; Practice variation and factors associated with non-compliance

M. J. Moesker, J. F. de Groot, N. L. Damen, N. R. Bijsterveld, J. W. R. Twisk, M. V. Huisman, M. C. de Bruijne, C. Wagner

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Background: Bridging anticoagulation is used in vitamin-K antagonist (VKA) patients undergoing invasive procedures and involves complex risk assessment in order to prevent thromboembolic and bleeding outcomes. Objectives: Our aim was to assess guideline compliance and identify factors associated with bridging and especially, non-compliant bridging. Methods: A retrospective review of 256 patient records in 13 Dutch hospitals was performed. Demographic, clinical, surgical and care delivery characteristics were collected. Compliance to the American College of Chest Physicians ninth edition guideline (AT9) was assessed. Multilevel regression models were built to explain bridging use and predict non-compliance. Results: Bridging use varied from 15.0 to 83.3% (mean = 41.8%) of patients per hospital, whereas guideline compliance varied from 20.0 to 88.2% (mean = 68.5%) per hospital. Both established thromboembolic risk factors and characteristics outside thromboembolic risk assessment were associated with bridging use. Predictors for overuse were gastrointestinal surgery (OR 14.85, 95% CI 2.69-81.99), vascular surgery (OR 13.01, 95% CI 1.83-92.30), non-elective surgery (OR 8.67, 95% CI 1.67-45.14), lowest 25th percentile socioeconomic status (OR 0.33, 95% CI 0.11-1.02) and use of VKA reversal agents (OR 0.22, 95% CI 0.04-1.16). Conclusion: Bridging anticoagulation practice was not compliant with the AT9 in 31.5% of patients. The aggregated AT9 thromboembolic risk was inferior to individual thromboembolic risk factors and other characteristics in explaining bridging use. Therefor the AT9 risk seems less important for the decision making in everyday practice. Additionally, a heterogeneous implementation of the guideline between hospitals was found. Further research and interventions are needed to improve bridging anticoagulation practice in VKA patients.
Original languageEnglish
Article number15
JournalThrombosis Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Aug 2019

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