Non-major bleeding with apixaban versus warfarin in patients with atrial fibrillation.


Journal Article

We describe the incidence, location and management of non-major bleeding, and assess the association between non-major bleeding and clinical outcomes in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) receiving anticoagulation therapy enrolled in Apixaban for Reduction in Stroke and other Thromboembolic Events in Atrial Fibrillation (ARISTOTLE).We included patients who received ≥1 dose of study drug (n=18 140). Non-major bleeding was defined as the first bleeding event considered to be clinically relevant non-major (CRNM) or minor bleeding, and not preceded by a major bleeding event.Non-major bleeding was three times more common than major bleeding (12.1% vs 3.8%). Like major bleeding, non-major bleeding was less frequent with apixaban (6.4 per 100 patient-years) than warfarin (9.4 per 100 patient-years) (adjusted HR 0.69, 95% CI 0.63 to 0.75). The most frequent sites of non-major bleeding were haematuria (16.4%), epistaxis (14.8%), gastrointestinal (13.3%), haematoma (11.5%) and bruising/ecchymosis (10.1%). Medical or surgical intervention was similar among patients with non-major bleeding on warfarin versus apixaban (24.7% vs 24.5%). A change in antithrombotic therapy (58.6% vs 50.0%) and permanent study drug discontinuation (5.1% (61) vs 3.6% (30), p=0.10) was numerically higher with warfarin than apixaban. CRNM bleeding was independently associated with an increased risk of overall death (adjusted HR 1.70, 95% CI 1.32 to 2.18) and subsequent major bleeding (adjusted HR 2.18, 95% CI 1.56 to 3.04).In ARISTOTLE, non-major bleeding was common and substantially less frequent with apixaban than with warfarin. CRNM bleeding was independently associated with a higher risk of death and subsequent major bleeding. Our results highlight the importance of any severity of bleeding in patients with AF treated with anticoagulation therapy and suggest that non-major bleeding, including minor bleeding, might not be minor.NCT00412984; post-results.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bahit, MC; Lopes, RD; Wojdyla, DM; Held, C; Hanna, M; Vinereanu, D; Hylek, EM; Verheugt, F; Goto, S; Alexander, JH; Wallentin, L; Granger, CB

Published Date

  • April 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 103 / 8

Start / End Page

  • 623 - 628

PubMed ID

  • 27798052

Pubmed Central ID

  • 27798052

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1468-201X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1355-6037

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1136/heartjnl-2016-309901


  • eng