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Computer aided warfarin dosing in the Swedish national quality registry AuriculA: algorithmic suggestions are performing better than manually changed doses
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
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2013 (English)In: Thrombosis Research, ISSN 0049-3848, E-ISSN 1879-2472, Vol. 131, no 2, 130-134 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

INTRODUCTION: Warfarin treatment with a high time in therapeutic range (TTR) is correlated to fewer complications. The TTR in Sweden is generally high but varies partly depending on local expertise and traditions. A dosing algorithm could minimize variations and increase treatment quality. Here we evaluate the performance of a computerized dosing algorithm.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: 53.779 warfarin treated patients from 125 centers using the Swedish national quality registry AuriculA. If certain criteria are met, the algorithm gives one of seven possible dose suggestions, which can be unchanged, decreased or increased weekly dose by 5, 10 or 15%. The outcome evaluated by the resulting INR value was compared between dose suggestions arising from the algorithm that were accepted and those that were manually changed. There were no randomization, and outcomes were retrospectively analyzed.

RESULTS: Both the algorithm-based and the manually changed doses had worse outcome if only two instead of three previous INR values were available. The algorithm suggestions were superior to manual dosing regarding percent samples within the target range 2-3 (hit-rate) or deviation from INR 2.5 (mean error). Of the seven possible outcomes from the algorithm, six were significantly superior and one equal to the manually changed doses when three previous INR:s were present.

CONCLUSIONS: The algorithm-based dosing suggestions show better outcome in most cases. This can make dosing of warfarin easier and more efficient. There are however cases where manual dosing fares better. Here the algorithm will be improved to further enhance its dosing performance in the future.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 131, no 2, 130-134 p.
Keyword [en]
Anticoagulation, Atrial fibrillation, Computer-assisted therapy, INR, Warfarin
National Category
Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems Hematology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-66123DOI: 10.1016/j.thromres.2012.11.016ISI: 000313719400009PubMedID: 23232091OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-66123DiVA: diva2:605716
Available from: 2013-02-15 Created: 2013-02-15 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background: The Framingham Study from 1991 showed a clear correlation between atrial fibrillation (AF) and ischemic stroke, where patients with AF had an almost fivefold increase in risk of stroke compared with patients without AF. Since then, several trials have evaluated different antithrombotic treatments to reduce the risk of stroke in patients with AF. Other trials have investigated factors that increase the risk of stroke in patients with AF and risk score systems have been developed to categorize patients into low or increased risk of stroke to help clinicians to decide which patients benefit from antithrombotic treatment and in whom it can be abstained, not to expose patients with low stroke risk to an increased risk of bleeding conferred by antithrombotic treatment. The aims of this thesis were: [1] to evaluate if a warfarin dosing algorithm can increase hit rate and decrease mean error compared with manually changed doses; [2] to assess the prevalence and net clinical benefit of aspirin as monotherapy for stroke prevention in AF; [3] to investigate the risk of thromboembolic and haemorrhagic complications within 30 days after electrical cardioversion (ECV) of AF in patients with and without oral anticoagulation (OAC) pre-treatment; and [4] to assess the proportion of patients discontinuing OAC after pulmonary vein isolation (PVI), identify factors predicting stroke after PVI and to investigate risk of complications after PVI with and without OAC.

Materials and methods: All studies are retrospective and based on data from Swedish national quality registries. In paper I, data from Auricula was used to compare the resulting INR values after algorithmic warfarin dose suggestions and manually changed doses. In paper II data was extracted from the Swedish National Patient Register, the Dispensed Drugs Register and the Cause of Death Register. Patients with aspirin treatment were compared with patients without any antithrombotic treatment regarding risk of thromboembolic and haemorrhagic complications. In paper III data was collected from the Swedish National Patient Register and the Dispensed Drugs Register to examine risk of complications (thromboembolic and haemorrhagic events) within 30 days after cardioversion, comparing patients with and without oral anticoagulation pre-treatment. In paper IV data from six different Swedish national quality registries were used (Swedish Catheter Ablation Register, Auricula, Swedish National Patient Register, Dispensed Drugs Register, Cause of Death Register and Riksstroke). Patients undergoing pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) were investigated for adherence to guidelines regarding oral anticoagulation, predictors for stroke after PVI, as well as risk of ischemic stroke or intracranial haemorrhage after PVI in patients with and without treatment.

Results: Paper I showed that a computerized dosing algorithm for warfarin in most cases perform as well or better compared with doses that have been changed manually, with a better hit-rate (0.72 vs. 0.67) and a lower mean error (0.44 vs. 0.48). Paper II showed that 32% of 182.678 patients with a diagnosis of AF were on monotherapy with aspirin for stroke prevention. A total of 115.185 patients were included, 58.671 with aspirin treatment and 56.514 without antithrombotic treatment at baseline. After stratification after CHA2DS2-VASc score and after multivariable adjustment, aspirin treatment did not confer a decrease in thromboembolic events. After propensity score mathcing, rate of ischemic stroke was 7.4%/year (95% CI 7.1-7.6) in aspirin treated patients and 6.6%/year (95% CI 6.4-6.9) in patients without antithrombotic treatment. In paper III 22.874 patients undergoing electrical cardioversion were included, 10.722 with and 12.152 without OAC pre-treatment. In patients with low stroke risk (CHA2DS2-VASc 0-1), no thromboembolic complication was seen within 30 days after cardioversion. In patients with CHA2DS2-VASc ≥2, the risk of thromboembolic complications was increased when no oral anticoagulation pre-treatment was used, results that remained after propensity score matching. No difference regarding haemorrhagic complications was seen. Paper IV included a total of 1585 patients undergoing PVI with a mean follow up of 2.6 years. Adherence to current guidelines regarding oral anticoagulation was good in patients with CHA2DS2-VASc ≥2. Previous ischemic stroke was a predictor for a new stroke after PVI. In patients with CHA2DS2-VASc ≥2 stroke risk was increased in patients discontinuing OAC compared to those continuing OAC (1,60%/year vs. 0.34%/year).

Conclusion: Oral anticoagulation is still underutilized for prevention of stroke and systemic embolism in patients with atrial fibrillation. Patients with risk factors for stroke (CHA2DS2-VASc ≥2p) benefit from continuous oral anticoagulation treatment to prevent stroke, also in conjunction with electrical cardioversion and after pulmonary vein isolation. If warfarin is chosen, a computerised dosing algorithm can facilitate and standardize warfarin dosing and lead to better resulting INR values than manually changed doses. Aspirin should not be used for stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå Universitet, 2016. 96 p.
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1823
Keyword
Atrial fibrillation, stroke, oral anticoagulation, aspirin, haemorrhage, electrical cardioversion, pulmonary vein isolation
National Category
Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems
Research subject
Cardiology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-124951 (URN)978-91-7601-519-3 (ISBN)
External cooperation:
Public defence
2016-09-23, Aulan, Sundsvalls sjukhus, Sundsvall, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-09-02 Created: 2016-08-31 Last updated: 2016-09-05Bibliographically approved
2. Anticoagulation treatment in patients with a mechanical heart valve
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Anticoagulation treatment in patients with a mechanical heart valve
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background

Every year about 2,500 patients in Sweden undergo surgery for heart valve disease, primarily in the aortic valve.  In contrast to the mitral valve, which can be repaired in 70% of the cases, the aortic valve is normally replaced by a mechanical or biological prosthesis. A mechanical heart valve (MHV) necessitates lifelong anticoagulation treatment with a vitamin K antagonist, most commonly warfarin, due to the high thrombogenicity of the prosthesis. The quality of the warfarin treatment is crucial in these patients. Compared to other countries, treatment quality in Sweden is very high; nonetheless, there is always room for improvement. One of the ways to achieve this improvement is to implement computerized dosing assistance. Treatment recommendations for anticoagulation intensity are based on few and old studies, making these recommendations uncertain. There is therefore a need for studies designed to establish the appropriate level of anticoagulation therapy.

Aim

The aim of these studies was to investigate the efficacy and safety of anticoagulation treatment among patients with mechanical heart valve prostheses in Sweden; to assess whether computerized dosing can increase the treatment quality; to investigate the influence of the treatment quality, measured by Time in Therapeutic Range (TTR) and INR variability, on the risk of complications and, finally, to establish the optimal intensity of anticoagulation treatment in this group of patients.

Methods

Data were obtained from AuriculA – a national quality registry established in 2006, which currently includes approximately 50% of all patients treated with oral anticoagulation in Sweden.

Study II used only data from AuriculA. 769,933 warfarin-dosing suggestions proposed by the dosing algorithm in AuriculA were analysed. Accepted dose suggestions (590,939) were compared with 178,994 manually-changed doses in regard to the resultant INR value, measured as mean error (deviation from target INR) and hit rate (number of INR samples within the target range 2-3).

In study III, AuriculA was used to identify patients in Sundsvall and Malmö in the period 2008 – 2011 who were receiving warfarin for a mechanical heart valve prosthesis, as well as to retrieve their INR data. Data on background characteristics and bleedings or thromboembolic complications were manually retrieved from medical records by two investigators.  A total of 534 patients with mechanical heart valve prostheses were divided into quartiles based on TTR and were compared regarding the risk of complications.

For Studies I and IV, data from AuriculA were merged with the Swedish National Patient Register, SWEDEHEART/ Heart surgery, and the Swedish Cause of Death Register, comprising in total 77,423 patients on warfarin with 217,804 treatment years. Every treatment period registered in AuriculA was given an individual identification number. During the study period a patient could have any number of treatment periods. The number of complications in total and in different patient groups within the study population was investigated. Complications were defined by ICD-10 codes. Major bleeding was defined as an event necessitating hospital treatment and given a discharge diagnosis with one of the ICD-10 codes reflecting bleeding, as listed in the Appendix. Bleeding events were divided into intracranial, gastrointestinal and other bleedings. Thromboembolic complications consist of venous events (deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, venous stroke) or arterial events (stroke, TIA, acute myocardial infarction, peripheral arterial embolism).

Data were analysed using both simple, descriptive statistical methods and various tests such as Mann-Whitney (or two sample Wilcoxon), T-test, Chi 2 test, ANOVA, multivariate analysis with logistic regression and survival analysis with Cox Regression with proportional hazard assumption.

Results

Treatment quality 

Mean TTR among all patients in Study I was 76.5% whereas patients with mechanical heart valve prostheses had a TTR of 74.5%. The annual incidence of major bleeding or thromboembolic events among all patients was 2.24% and 2.65%, respectively. The incidence of intracranial bleeding was 0.37% per year in the general population and 0.51% among patients with mechanical heart valve prostheses, who also had a higher bleeding rate in total (3.37% per year).

Both the mean and median errors were smaller (0.44 vs. 0.48 and 0.3 vs. 0.4, respectively) and the hit rate was higher (0.72 vs. 0.67) when the dose suggested by the algorithm was accepted, compared to when it was manually changed.

TTR 

In Study III there was no significant difference in the risk of thromboembolism regardless of TTR level. Risk of bleeding in quartiles I and II was more than two times higher than in the quartile with TTR >82.9.

In Study IV, lower TTR (≤70%) was associated with a significantly higher rate of complications when compared with TTR >70%. Bleeding risk was higher in the group with lower TTR (HR=2.43, CI 2.02-2.89, p<0.001). After dividing patients into TTR quartiles, the rate of complications in total was significantly higher in quartiles I to III compared with quartile IV, which had the highest TTR. Risk of thromboembolism, major bleeding and death was higher in the first and second quartile compared to the quartile with the highest TTR.

INR variability 

Higher INR variability above mean (≥0.40) was related to a higher rate of complications compared with lower INR variability (<0.40) as shown in Study IV. Bleeding risk was higher in the group with INR variability ≥0.40 (HR = 2.15, CI 1.75-2.61, p<0.001).

Comparison of quartile IV, which had the lowest INR variability, with the other three revealed that quartiles I and II, which had the highest INR variability, had significantly worse outcomes for all complications except for thromboembolic events, plus also death in quartile II.

TTR and INR variability combined 

High variability and low TTR combined was associated with a higher risk of bleedings (HR 2.50, CI 1.99-3.15), death (3.34, CI 2.62-4-27) and thrombosis (1.55, CI 1.21-1.99) compared to the best group.

Level of anticoagulation

Higher warfarin treatment intensity (mean INR 2.8-3.2 vs. 2.2-2.7) was associated with a higher rate of bleedings (HR 1.29, CI 1.06-1.58), death (1.73, CI 1.38-2.16) and complications in total (1.24, CI 1.06-1.41) after adjustment for MHV position, age and comorbidity.

Conclusion

Warfarin treatment quality is crucial for patients with mechanical heart valve prostheses. Computerized dosing assistance could help maintain high warfarin treatment quality.

Well-managed treatment with TTR ≥70% and INR variability below mean <0.40 is associated with a lower risk of serious complications compared with a lower TTR and higher INR variability.

No benefit of higher warfarin treatment intensity was found for any valve type or position.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2016. 72 p.
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1831
Keyword
Mechanical heart valve, anticoagulation, warfarin, Time in Therapeutic Range (TTR), INR variability
National Category
Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-128355 (URN)978-91-7601-539-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-01-13, Aulan, Sundsvalls sjukhus, Lasarettsvägen, Sundsvall, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-12-21 Created: 2016-12-02 Last updated: 2016-12-21Bibliographically approved

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Grzymala-Lubanski, BartoszSjälander, SaraSjälander, Anders

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