Prognostic Value of Red Blood Cell Distribution Width on Bleeding Events in Nonvalvular Atrial Fibrillation Patients Taking Dabigatran (110 mg b.i.d.) after Catheter Ablation

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Objectives: Recent research has indicated that red blood cell distribution width (RDW) is associated with the prognosis of cardiovascular diseases such as chronic heart failure and coronary heart disease. We aimed to study the predictive value of RDW for bleeding events in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF) during the administration of 110 mg of dabigatran twice a day after catheter ablation. Methods: One hundred and seventy-two NVAF patients who were hospitalized and received catheter ablation in Jiangsu Provincial People's Hospital from January 2014 to January 2015 were enrolled (110 mg of dabigatran was administered orally to outpatients preoperatively twice a day for 3 weeks). The enrolled patients were divided into the high RDW (>12.8%) group (n = 85) and the low RDW (≤12.8%) group (n = 87) according to the median RDW. The activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT) at dabigatran trough concentration was also detected. Patients were followed up for 3 months to observe the occurrence of bleeding events, and the predictive value of RDW as well as APTT for bleeding events was assessed from receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) analyses. Results: In all patients, preoperatively, no bleeding events were observed and the APTT did not exceed twice the normal upper limit. Thirteen cases of bleeding events, all minor bleeding, occurred after a 3-month follow-up: 3 of gingival bleeding, 3 of urinary tract bleeding, 3 conjunctival hemorrhages and 4 subcutaneous hemorrhages. The incidence of bleeding events in the low RDW group was lower than in the high RDW group (3.4 vs. 11.8%, p = 0.039). The areas under the ROC curve for RDW and APTT to predict the occurrence of bleeding events were 0.737 (cutoff point 13.25%; p < 0.05) and 0.558 (p > 0.05), respectively. Conclusion: RDW was associated with the occurrence of bleeding events in NVAF patients on dabigatran (110 mg twice a day) after ablation, while also being an independent predictor of bleeding events. RDW had superior predictive value for bleeding events over APTT when APTT did not exceed twice the normal upper limit.

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