Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Med. 2019 Jan 16. pii: S0002-9343(19)30064-6. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2019.01.004. [Epub ahead of print]

Periprocedural Bridging in Patients with Venous Thromboembolism: A Systematic Review.

Author information

Division of Hospital Medicine, University of California, San Francisco; Department of General Internal Medicine, Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.
Division of Hospital Medicine, University of California, San Francisco.
UCSF Medical Library, University of California, San Francisco.
Division of Hospital Medicine, University of California, San Francisco. Electronic address:



Vitamin K antagonists (VKA) are the most widely used anticoagulants, and bridging is commonly administered during periprocedural VKA interruption. Given the unclear benefits and risks of periprocedural bridging in patients with previous venous thromboembolism, we aimed to assess recurrent venous thromboembolism and bleeding outcomes with and without bridging in this population.


We performed a systematic review searching the PubMed and Embase databases from inception to December 7, 2017 for randomized and nonrandomized studies that included adults with previous venous thromboembolism requiring VKA interruption to undergo an elective procedure, and that reported venous thromboembolism or bleeding outcomes. Quality of evidence was graded by consensus.


We included 28 cohort studies (20 being single-arm cohorts) with, overall, 6915 procedures for analysis. In 27 studies reporting perioperative venous thromboembolism outcomes, the pooled incidence of recurrent venous thromboembolism with bridging was 0.7% (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.4%-1.2%) and 0.5% (95% CI, 0.3%-0.8%) without bridging. Eighteen studies reported major or nonmajor bleeding outcomes. The pooled incidence of any bleeding was 3.9% (95% CI, 2.0%-7.4%) with bridging and 0.4% (95% CI, 0.1%-1.7%) without bridging. In bridged patients at high thromboembolic risk, the pooled incidence for venous thromboembolism was 0.8% (95% CI, 0.3%-2.5%) and 7.5% (95% CI, 3.1%-17.4%) for any bleeding. Quality of available evidence was very low, primarily due to a high risk of bias of included studies.


Periprocedural bridging increases the risk of bleeding compared with VKA interruption without bridging, without a significant difference in periprocedural venous thromboembolism rates.


Anticoagulants; Bleeding; Bridging; PROSPERO; Periprocedural; Venous thromboembolism; registration number CRD42017074710

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center