Send to

Choose Destination
Thromb J. 2015 Feb 10;13:9. doi: 10.1186/s12959-015-0037-1. eCollection 2015.

Global assays and the management of oral anticoagulation.

Author information

Department of Plasma Proteins, Sanquin Research, Plesmanlaan 125, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Coagulation tests range from global or overall tests to assays specific to individual clotting factors and their inhibitors. Whether a particular test is influenced by an oral anticoagulant depends on the principle of the test and the type of oral anticoagulant. Knowledge on coagulation tests applicable in monitoring status and reversal of oral anticoagulation is a prerequisite when studying potential reversal agents or when managing anticoagulation in a clinical setting. Specialty tests based on the measurement of residual activated factor X (Xa) or thrombin activity, e.g., are highly effective for determining the concentration of the new generation direct factor Xa- and thrombin inhibitors, but these tests are unsuitable for the assessment of anticoagulation reversal by non-specific prohemostatic agents like prothrombin complex concentrate (PCC) and recombinant factor VIIa (FVIIa). Global coagulation assays, in this respect, seem more appropriate. This review evaluates the current status on the applicability of the global coagulation assays PT, APTT, thrombin generation and thromboelastography in the management of oral anticoagulation by vitamin K antagonists and the direct factor Xa and thrombin inhibitors. Although all global tests are influenced by both types of anticoagulants, not all tests are useful for monitoring anticoagulation and reversal thereof. Many (pre)analytical conditions are of influence on the assay readout, including the oral anticoagulant itself, the concentration of assay reagents and the presence of other elements like platelets and blood cells. Assay standardization, therefore, remains an issue of importance.


APTT; Anticoagulation reversal; Apixaban; Dabigatran; PT; Prothrombin complex concentrate; Rivaroxaban; Thrombin generation; Thromboelastography; Vitamin K antagonists

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for BioMed Central Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center