Introduction: Non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOAC) are increasingly replacing vitamin K antagonists for prevention of thromboembolism in atrial fibrillation (AF). Despite treatment, stroke rate in NOAC-treated AF-patients remains 1-2% per year. Subsequently, stroke physicians face a growing number of NOAC-treated patients with acute stroke. Rapid assessment of coagulation in NOAC-treated patients is vital prior to thrombolysis or reversal therapy, but existing point-of-care testing (POCT) is suboptimal. For the first time we evaluate NOAC-specific POCT.
Hypothesis: Ecarin clotting time (ECT)- and anti-Xa activity (ENOX)-POCT predict plasma concentrations of dabigatran and apixaban/edoxaban/rivaroxaban.
Methods: 80 patients receiving first NOAC-dose and 80 already on NOAC-treatment are enrolled in the SPOCT-NOAC I trial (N=40 for each NOAC). Subjects receiving other anticoagulants are excluded. Six blood samples are collected from each patient: before drug intake, 30min, 1, 2, and 8h after intake, and before next dose. NOAC-concentrations are measured by mass spectrometry.
Results: 240 blood samples of 40 dabigatran-treated patients were analyzed. Dabigatran-concentrations ranged from 0-274ng/mL. ECT-POCT ranged from 20-196s. Pearson’s correlation coefficient showed strong correlation between ECT-POCT and dabigatran-concentrations (r=0.87). Performance was improved through the use of citrated in place of non-citrated whole blood (r=0.93). Dabigatran-concentrations >50ng/mL (threshold for thrombolysis according to expert recommendation) were detected by ECT-POCT >50s with 98% sensitivity and 79% specificity. Baseline-samples not containing any dabigatran yielded normal ECT values.
Conclusions: This is the first study evaluating NOAC-specific POCT. Final results in the dabigatran group of SPOCT-NOAC show excellent correlation between ECT-POCT and dabigatran plasma concentrations; performance of ECT-POCT is even increased through the use of citrated whole blood. Relevant dabigatran-concentrations are detected with excellent sensitivity and specificity. In addition to ECT-POCT, we will present data on ENOX-POCT from apixaban-, edoxaban- and rivaroxaban-treated patients.