Routine coagulation assays underestimate levels of antithrombin-dependent drugs but not of direct anticoagulant drugs in plasma from patients with cirrhosis

Potze, W., Arshad, F., Adelmeijer, J., Blokzijl, H., van den Berg, A. P., Porte, R. J. & Lisman, T., Dec-2013, In : British Journal of Haematology. 163, 5, p. 666-673 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

There is increasing recognition that thrombotic complications may occur in patients with cirrhosis, and literature on antithrombotic treatment in these patients is rapidly emerging. Due to extensive haemostatic changes in patients with cirrhosis, careful monitoring of anticoagulant therapy may be required. Recent data suggest that plasma levels of low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) are substantially underestimated by the anti-activated factor X (anti-Xa) assay in patients with cirrhosis. We studied the in vitro recovery of antithrombin (AT)-dependent and -independent anticoagulant drugs in plasma from 26 patients with cirrhosis and 30 healthy controls and found substantially reduced anti-Xa levels when AT-dependent anticoagulant drugs were added to the plasma of patients with cirrhosis. LMWH (02U/ml) had the poorest recovery in plasma from patients with cirrhosis (013+/- 006U/ml, compared to 023+/- 003U/ml in controls, P0001), followed by unfractionated heparin and fondaparinux. In contrast, the recovery of rivaroxaban and dabigatran was identical between patients and controls. These data suggest that the anti-Xa assay cannot be used to monitor AT-dependent anticoagulant drugs in patients with cirrhosis, as it substantially underestimates drug levels. The direct factor Xa and IIa inhibitors, however, may be monitored through the respective anti-Xa and anti-IIa assays in patients with cirrhosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)666-673
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Haematology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Dec-2013


  • cirrhosis, coagulation, anticoagulants, anti-Xa assay, antithrombin, MOLECULAR-WEIGHT HEPARIN, PORTAL-VEIN THROMBOSIS, LIVER-DISEASE, CONSEQUENCES, HEMOSTASIS

ID: 5989131