Risk of thromboembolic events after protocolized warfarin reversal with 3-factor PCC and factor VIIa☆,☆☆

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Bleeding events and life-threatening hemorrhage are the most feared complications of warfarin therapy. Prompt anticoagulant reversal aimed at replacement of vitamin K–dependent clotting factors is essential to promote hemostasis. A retrospective cohort study of warfarin-treated patients experiencing a life-threatening hemorrhage treated with an institution-specific warfarin reversal protocol (postimplementation group) and those who received the prior standard of care (preimplementation group) was performed. The reversal protocol included vitamin K, 3-factor prothrombin complex concentrate, and recombinant factor VIIa. Demographic and clinical information, anticoagulant reversal information, and all adverse events attributed to warfarin reversal were recorded. A total of 227 patients were included in final analysis, 109 in the preimplementation group and 118 in the postimplementation group. Baseline patient characteristics were similar in both groups, with the exception of higher average Sequential Organ Failure Assessment scores in the postimplementation group (P = .0005). The most common indication for anticoagulation reversal was intraparenchymal hemorrhage. Prereversal international normalized ratios (INRs) were similar in both groups. Attainment of INR normalization to less than 1.4 was higher, and rebound INR was lower in the postimplementation group (P < .0001; P = .0013). Thromboembolic complications were significantly higher in the postimplementation group (P = .003). Elevated baseline Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score and mechanical valve as an indication for anticoagulation were independently associated with thrombotic complications (P = .005). A warfarin reversal protocol consisting of 3-factor prothrombin complex concentrate, recombinant factor VIIa, and vitamin K more consistently normalized INR values to less than 1.4 as compared to the prior standard of care in a diverse patient population. This success came at the cost of a 2-fold increase in risk of thromboembolic complications.

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