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Original article

Vol. 147 No. 3940 (2017)

Quality of vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulation in 322 patients with atrial fibrillation – real-life data from a survey in Eastern Switzerland

  • Micha T. Maeder
  • Tabea König
  • Sanja Bogdanovic
  • Irene Schneider
  • Werner Eugster
  • Peter Ammann
  • Marius König
  • Jürg H. Beer
  • Hans Rickli
Cite this as:
Swiss Med Wkly. 2017;147:w14503


AIM OF THE STUDY: To better appreciate the role of the non-vitamin K oral anticoagulants (NOACs) for patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation in Switzerland we aimed to assess the quality of vitamin K antagonist (VKA) anticoagulation in daily practice.

METHODS: In a cross-sectional study, clinically stable patients on VKA treatment for non-valvular atrial fibrillation for at least 6 months, documentation of international normalised ratio (INR) values for at least 3 months and with at least two INR values were included. The percentage of INR values within the therapeutic range of 2.0 to 3.0 and the time in therapeutic range (TTR; Rosendaal method) and predictors for these measures of VKA anticoagulation quality were assessed.

RESULTS: We studied 332 patients (62% male, mean age 74 ± 9 years) with median (interquartile range) CHA2DS2Vasc and HAS-BLED scores of 4 (3–5) and 3 (2–4) points. The median number of INR values per patient was 8 (5–14), and the average interval between INR measurements was 20 (13–27) days. The percentage of INR values between 2.0 and 3.0 was 67% (50–83%). The median TTR was 69% (51–89%), and TTR ≥65% was found in 202 (61%) patients. Independent predictors of ≥80% INR values between 2.0 and 3.0 included a longer interval between INR measurements and the non-use of spironolactone. The non-use of amiodarone and spironolactone and a longer interval between INR measurements were the only independent predictors of a TTR ≥65%.

CONCLUSIONS: The quality of VKA anticoagulation in Switzerland is highly variable. Importantly, only 60% of patients achieve a TTR ≥65%, which is currently considered to be the minimal acceptable TTR required for VKA therapy. There are few clinical predictors of a good VKA anticoagulation quality. These data may represent a novel basis for decision making regarding the choice of anticoagulation for atrial fibrillation in Switzerland.


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