Chiong J R, & Cheung R J. (2013). Long-term anticoagulation in the extreme elderly with the newer antithrombotics: safe or sorry?. Korean Circ J, 43(5), 287-92. ( 5/2013 - Present )
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The prevalence of atrial fibrillation (AF) doubles in the extreme elderly and is higher than in the rest of the population. Warfarin therapy to prevent thromboembolic events secondary to AF is often underutilized and under-prescribed in this subgroup, due to the fear of bleeding and other complications. Newer oral anticoagulants such as rivaroxaban and dabigatran offer alternative therapeutic options for the extreme elderly. We review the clinical trial data of these newer agents in the extreme elderly population. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: THE PRIMARY LITERATURE WAS IDENTIFIED THROUGH PUBMED, USING THE FOLLOWING SEARCH TERMS: anticoagulation, rivaroxaban, dabigatran, warfarin, elderly, AF, bleeding, stroke, and aging. Additional references were identified through the review of references from the articles obtained. We included clinical studies evaluating anticoagulation therapies in AF. Selection emphasis was placed on those evaluating anticoagulation in the elderly population. RESULTS: Dabigatran and rivaroxaban have predictable, dose-proportional pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties, which make them favorable options for the elderly. Fewer monitoring parameters and drug interactions allow for the greater ease of use. A landmark trial shows that the rate of intracranial hemorrhage with dabigatran is lower in this population compared to warfarin. However, the data is based on a small number of subjects enrolled in the clinical trials. As such, the real-world use of these agents may not replicate the published rates of bleeding and thrombosis in the study populations. CONCLUSION: More research is needed in this area, specifically in this population, before newer agents such as rivaroxaban and dabigatran are widely recommended for use in the extreme elderly patients.