Safety and Use of Anticoagulation After Aortic Valve Replacement With Bioprostheses: A Meta-Analysis.


BACKGROUND: The American College of Cardiology guidelines recommend 3 months of anticoagulation after replacement of the aortic valve with a bioprosthesis. However, there remains great variability in the current clinical practice and conflicting results from clinical studies. To assist clinical decision making, we pooled the existing evidence to assess whether anticoagulation in the setting of a new bioprosthesis was associated with improved outcomes or greater risk of bleeding. METHODS AND RESULTS: We searched the PubMed database from the inception of these databases until April 2015 to identify original studies (observational studies or clinical trials) that assessed anticoagulation with warfarin in comparison with either aspirin or no antiplatelet or anticoagulant therapy. We included the studies if their outcomes included thromboembolism or stroke/transient ischemic attacks and bleeding events. Quality assessment was performed in accordance with the Newland Ottawa Scale, and random effects analysis was used to pool the data from the available studies. I(2) testing was done to assess the heterogeneity of the included studies. After screening through 170 articles, a total of 13 studies (cases=6431; controls=18210) were included in the final analyses. The use of warfarin was associated with a significantly increased risk of overall bleeding (odds ratio, 1.96; 95% confidence interval, 1.25-3.08; P<0.0001) or bleeding risk at 3 months (odds ratio, 1.92; 95% confidence interval, 1.10-3.34; P<0.0001) compared with aspirin or placebo. With regard to composite primary outcome variables (risk of venous thromboembolism, stroke, or transient ischemic attack) at 3 months, no significant difference was seen with warfarin (odds ratio, 1.13; 95% confidence interval, 0.82-1.56; P=0.67). Moreover, anticoagulation was also not shown to improve outcomes at time interval >3 months (odds ratio, 1.12; 95% confidence interval, 0.80-1.58; P=0.79). CONCLUSIONS: Contrary to the current guidelines, a meta-analysis of previous studies suggests that anticoagulation in the setting of an aortic bioprosthesis significantly increases bleeding risk without a favorable effect on thromboembolic events. Larger, randomized controlled studies should be performed to further guide this clinical practice.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Riaz, Haris, Shehab Ahmad Redha Alansari, Muhammad Shahzeb Khan, Talha Riaz, Sajjad Raza, Faraz Khan Luni, Abdur Rahman Khan, Irbaz Bin Riaz, et al. (2016). Safety and Use of Anticoagulation After Aortic Valve Replacement With Bioprostheses: A Meta-Analysis. Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes, 9(3). pp. 294–302. 10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.115.002696 Retrieved from

This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise. To cite this article, please review & use the official citation provided by the journal.



Richard Andrew Krasuski

Professor of Medicine

Dr. Richard Krasuski is Director of the Adult Congenital Heart Center at Duke University Medical Center, the Director of Hemodynamic Research, and the Medical Director of the CTEPH Program. He is considered a thought leader in the fields of pulmonary hypertension and congenital heart disease. His research focus is in epidemiologic and clinical studies involving patients with pulmonary hypertension and patients with congenital heart disease. He is involved in multiple multicenter studies through the Alliance for Adult Research in Congenital Cardiology (AARCC). He has also helped to develop multiple research databases in these patient populations. He is Co-PI in the upcoming EPIPHANY Study examining the impact of medical and transcatheter interventions on RV-PA coupling in patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension. Over his career he has mentored over 80 students, residents and fellows and has published over 300 peer reviewed publications, book chapters and meeting abstracts. He is also the Chief Editor of Advances in Pulmonary Hypertension and on the editorial boards of several leading medical journals.

Unless otherwise indicated, scholarly articles published by Duke faculty members are made available here with a CC-BY-NC (Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial) license, as enabled by the Duke Open Access Policy. If you wish to use the materials in ways not already permitted under CC-BY-NC, please consult the copyright owner. Other materials are made available here through the author’s grant of a non-exclusive license to make their work openly accessible.