Rapid and well tolerated action of idarucizumab for antagonizing dabigatran in a patient needing urgent thrombolysis: a case report

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Dabigatran is a direct oral anticoagulant drug exhibiting clinical benefits over vitamin K antagonists. A procedure for reversing the anticoagulant effect of direct oral anticoagulants may be needed in emergency clinical settings, and is traditionally accomplished by using plasma products or hemostatic physical interventions. Idarucizumab, a specific antidote for dabigatran, has recently become available. This compound can be rapidly administered by intravenous injection and is effective in reversing anticoagulation in few minutes. We describe here the case of a 78-year-old woman taking dabigatran for atrial fibrillation, who was admitted to the emergency department with a diagnosis of acute cerebral ischemia. Dabigatran plasma levels on admission (74 ng/ml) were measured with diluted thrombin time. Idarucizumab was immediately administered and dabigatran plasma concentration suddenly decreased to less than 2 ng/ml. Successful systemic thrombolysis could hence be performed with full recovery.

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