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Semin Thromb Hemost. 2012 Feb;38(1):16-22. doi: 10.1055/s-0031-1300947. Epub 2012 Feb 7.

Determination of dabigatran in human plasma samples.

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Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Medical Faculty, Mannheim, Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg, Maybachstrasse, Mannheim, Germany.


The oral direct thrombin inhibitor dabigatran effectively prevents arterial and venous thromboembolism using fixed doses without the need for adjustment according to laboratory results. Dabigatran is eliminated from the circulation by ∼80% through the kidneys. However, the in vitro anticoagulant effect of dabigatran may be necessary to determine in special patient populations such as in the elderly, for renal impairment, before operations, bleeding or thrombotic episodes, and to monitor self-compliance. Several clotting and thrombin-specific chromogenic substrate assays are available to analyze the biological activity of dabigatran. All of them are prolonged in the presence of dabigatran. This article reports the effects of dabigatran on clinical routine assays and the potential usefulness for determination in special risk groups of patients when overdose or lack of compliance are suspected.

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