Predicting Bleeding Events in Anticoagulated Patients With Atrial Fibrillation: A Comparison Between the HAS‐BLED and GARFIELD‐AF Bleeding Scores


BACKGROUND: Patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) treated with oral anticoagulants may be exposed to an increased risk of bleeding events. The HAS-BLED (Hypertension, Abnormal renal and liver function, Stroke, Bleeding, Labile INRs, Elderly, Drugs or alcohol) score is a simple, well-established, clinical bleeding-risk prediction score. Recently, a new algorithm-based score was proposed, the GARFIELD-AF (Global Anticoagulant in the Field–AF) bleeding score. We compared HAS-BLED and GARFIELD-AF scores in predicting adjudicated bleeding events in a clinical trial cohort of patients with AF taking anticoagulants, in the first external comparative validation of both scores.

METHODS AND RESULTS: We analyzed patients from the SPORTIF (Stroke Prevention Using an Oral Thrombin Inhibitor in Patients With AF) III and V trials. All patients assigned to the warfarin arm with information to calculate the scores were considered. Outcomes were major, major/clinically relevant nonmajor, and any bleeding. A total of 3550 warfarin-treated patients were available for analysis. Of these patients, 2519 (71.0%) had a HAS-BLED score ≥3, whereas based on GARFIELD-AF median value, 2056 (57.9%) were categorized as “high score.” Both HAS-BLED and GARFIELD-AF C-indexes showed modest predictive value (C-index [95% confidence interval] for major bleeding, 0.58 [0.56–0.60] and 0.56 [0.54–0.57], respectively); however, GARFIELD-AF was not predictive of any bleeding. The GARFIELD-AF bleeding score had a significantly lower sensitivity and a negative reclassification for any bleeding compared with HAS-BLED, assessed by integrated discrimination improvement and net reclassification improvement (both P<0.001). HAS-BLED showed a 5% net benefit for any bleeding occurrence.

CONCLUSITONS: The algorithm-based GARFIELD-AF bleeding score did not show any significant improvement in major and major/clinically relevant nonmajor prediction compared with the simple HAS-BLED score. For clinical usefulness in prediction of any bleeding, the HAS-BLED score showed a significant net benefit compared with the GARFIELD-AF.

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Proietti M et al. J Am Heart Assoc. 18 September, 2018;7:e009766. Epub ahead of print.