The efficacy and safety of direct oral anticoagulants in noncirrhotic portal vein thrombosis

Leonard Naymagon, Douglas Tremblay, Nicole Zubizarreta, Erin Moshier, Kevin Troy, Thomas Schiano, John Mascarenhas

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49 Scopus citations


Guidelines currently favor Vitamin K antagonists or low-molecular-weight heparins for treatment of noncirrhotic portal vein thrombosis (ncPVT). Use of direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) in PVT has been met with concern because of the lack of data. We conducted a retrospective study to investigate the efficacy and safety of DOACs for the treatment of ncPVT, and to compare them with standard therapies: 330 patients with ncPVT, followed-up for a mean 41.6 months, received warfarin (n = 108), enoxaparin (n = 70), rivaroxaban (n = 65), apixaban (n = 20), dabigatran (n = 8), fondaparinux (n = 2), or no anticoagulation (n = 57). The primary outcome was complete radiographic resolution (CRR) of PVT. Secondary outcomes included recanalization of occlusive PVT, cavernous transformation of the PV, development of chronic portal hypertensive symptoms (cPHS), and major bleeding. DOACs were associated with the highest CRR rates (dabigatran, 6/8 [75%]; apixaban, 13/20 [65%]; rivaroxaban, 42/65 [65%]). Enoxaparin was associated with a CRR rate similar to that of the DOACs (40/70 5 57%). Warfarin was associated with worse outcomes in this regard (CRR rate, 31% [33/108]; hazard ratio [HR] DOACs:warfarin, 2.91; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.87-4.52; P<.0001). DOACs were associated with recanalization rates similar to enoxaparin and greater than warfarin (HR DOACs:warfarin, 3.45; 95% CI, 1.93-6.18; P<.0001). DOACs were associated with lower rates of cPHS, although this did not attain significance (DOACs, 8/93 [9%]; enoxaparin, 13/70 [19%]; warfarin, 31/108 [29%]). DOACs were associated with less major bleeding relative to warfarin (HR DOACs:warfarin, 0.20; 95% CI, 0.05-0.86; P = .0307). Patients harboring JAK2V617F, those with no evident predisposing factor for PVT, and those with occlusive thrombus demonstrated worse outcomes. DOACs appear effective and safe for the treatment of ncPVT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)655-666
Number of pages12
JournalBlood advances
Issue number4
StatePublished - 25 Feb 2020


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