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Kidney Int. 2013 Sep;84(3):600-8. doi: 10.1038/ki.2013.170. Epub 2013 May 15.

Major bleeding events and risk stratification of antithrombotic agents in hemodialysis: results from the DOPPS.

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Department of Medicine, St. Boniface General Hospital, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.


Benefits and risks of antithrombotic agents remain unclear in the hemodialysis population. To help clarify this we determined variation in antithrombotic agent use, rates of major bleeding events, and factors predictive of stroke and bleeding in 48,144 patients in the Dialysis Outcomes and Practice Patterns Study (DOPPS) phases I-IV. Antithrombotic agents including oral anticoagulants (OACs), aspirin (ASA), and anti-platelet agents (APAs) were recorded along with comorbidities at study entry, and clinical events including hospitalization due to bleeding were then collected every 4 months. There was wide variation in OAC (0.3-18%), APA (3-25%), and ASA use (8-36%), and major bleeding rates (0.05-0.22 events/year) among countries. All-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality, and bleeding events requiring hospitalization were elevated in patients prescribed OACs across adjusted models. The CHADS2 score predicted the risk of stroke in atrial fibrillation patients. Gastrointestinal bleeding in the past 12 months was highly predictive of major bleeding events; for patients with previous gastrointestinal bleeding, the rate of bleeding exceeded the rate of stroke by at least twofold across all categories of CHADS2 score, including patients at high stroke risk. Appropriate risk stratification and a cautious approach should be considered before OAC use in the dialysis population.

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