OBJECTIVES: The goal of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of uninterrupted direct oral anticoagulant (DOAC) use and uninterrupted warfarin administration in elderly patients undergoing catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation (AF).
BACKGROUND: There is limited knowledge regarding the uninterrupted use of oral anticoagulant agents in elderly patients undergoing catheter ablation for AF.
METHODS: This retrospective study included 2,164 patients (n = 325 ≥75 years of age and n = 1,839 <75 years of age) who underwent catheter ablation for AF. All the patients received uninterrupted oral anticoagulant agents during the procedure. We investigated the occurrences of periprocedural events and compared these between the DOAC and warfarin groups of the elderly and younger groups.
RESULTS: Major bleeding events (3.1% vs. 1.3%; p = 0.023) and minor bleeding events (9.2% vs. 5.0%; p = 0.002), except for thromboembolic events (0% vs. 0.8%; p = 0.248), were significantly higher in the elderly group than in the younger group. No significant differences in thromboembolic and bleeding events were found between the DOAC and warfarin groups of both the elderly and younger groups. Adverse complications did not differ between the groups after adjustment using propensity score matching analysis. Multivariate analysis revealed that lower body weight (odds ratio: 0.96; p = 0.010) and antiplatelet drug use (odds ratio: 2.21; p = 0.039) were independent predictors of adverse events in the elderly group.
CONCLUSIONS: The periprocedural bleeding risk during the use of uninterrupted oral anticoagulants was higher in the elderly group than in the younger group. This area needs more attention for these patients in whom caution is required.