Direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) are used as an alternative for traditional antithrombotic therapy. However, the safety profile of DOACs in patients with renal failure (RF) has not been determined.
A systematic review was performed assessing the reported safety of DOACs compared with vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) in patients with RF and estimated creatinine clearance (eCrCL) < 50 mL/min and eCrCL 50 to 80 mL/min. MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane, and the Clinical Trials Registry (ClinicalTrials.gov) were searched for randomized clinical trials up to November 2015. The data were pooled by using both traditional frequentist and Bayesian random effects models.
Nine trials met the inclusion criteria. Among 94,897 participants, 54,667 (58%) had RF. Compared with VKAs, DOACs were associated with a significantly decreased risk for major bleeding in patients with eCrCL 50 to 80 mL/min (risk ratio, 0.87 [95% CI, 0.81-0.93]) and a nonsignificant decrease in the risk for major bleeding in patients with eCrCL < 50 mL/min (risk ratio, 0.83 [95% CI, 0.68-1.02]); there was evidence of significant heterogeneity. Indirect comparisons, using Bayesian network analysis, indicated that apixaban was associated with a decreased rate of major bleeding compared with other DOACs in patients with eCrCL < 50 mL/min. DOACs were associated with a significant decrease in the risk for hemorrhagic stroke compared with VKAs in patients with eCrCL < 50 mL/min and 50 to 80 mL/min.
As a class, DOACs are associated with a reduced risk for hemorrhagic stroke compared with VKAs in patients with RF. However, DOACs may differ from each other in their relative risk for major bleeding in patients with eCrCL < 50 mL/min.
PROSPERO registry; No.: CRD42014013730; URL: http://www.crd.york.ac.uk/PROSPERO/display_record.asp?ID=CRD42014013730