ESRD patients receiving hemodialysis (HD) were excluded from landmark trials evaluating direct-acting oral anticoagulants (DOACs) in atrial fibrillation (AF). The objective was to evaluate prescribing and bleeding with DOACs compared to warfarin in AF patients with chronic HD. A retrospective, observational study of patients receiving warfarin or DOAC from April 2010-April 2016 from area health system hospitals and Dialysis Clinics, Inc. records. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics, ANOVA, and chi-square. Ninety-one patients were included with warfarin as the initial OAC in most patients (n = 76) at average dose of 29 mg/week. Fifteen patients were initially prescribed apixaban (n = 12) or dabigatran (n = 3). Most switches in OAC therapy were to apixaban. When the initial OAC was a DOAC, it was not dosed appropriately in five with one bleed, two dosed appropriately had bleeds. When initial warfarin was switched to a DOAC, it was not dosed appropriately in seven with five bleeds. More bleeds occurred with warfarin alone (n = 18) vs. those on warfarin switched to DOAC (n = 5) vs. DOAC alone (n = 3), p = 0.022. All but four patients that bled had HAS-BLED scores three or higher. Warfarin was most often prescribed and associated with a higher incidence of bleeding compared to DOACs in this population of patients at high risk for bleeding. Larger studies should be conducted to analyze the impact of DOAC dose appropriateness on safety and clinical outcomes.
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