Anticoagulation in heart failure without atrial fibrillation: gaps and dilemmas in current clinical practice

Roxana-Nicoleta Siliste
Elena-Laura Antohi
Sergey Pepoyan
Eleni Nakou
Panos Vardas

Data from observational and post‐hoc analyses suggest that heart failure (HF) itself may be associated with higher risk of thromboembolic events compared to populations without HF. Although oral anticoagulants (OACs) might be a therapeutic option in individual cases, anticoagulation therapy in HF patients in sinus rhythm is not generally recommended, as the implementation of OACs in clinical practice in this HF population is not supported by large randomized clinical trials to date. Indeed, the available data suggest that the risk of major bleeding overshadows the potential anti‐thromboembolic benefit of OACs in HF patients in sinus rhythm with no net beneficial effect on mortality rates. In this review we explore the current available evidence for the clinical outcomes of anticoagulation therapy in patients with HF in sinus rhythm, highlighting the current gaps in knowledge, which may guide the design of future randomized clinical trials focusing on the efficacy and safety of anticoagulant therapy in this HF population.

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Siliste RN et al. Eur J Heart Fail. 5 March, 2018. Epub ahead of print.