Renal function in atrial fibrillation patients switched from warfarin to a direct oral anticoagulant.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of thrombosis and thrombolysis


All available direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) are at least partially eliminated by the kidneys. These agents are increasingly being used as alternatives to warfarin for stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation. The aim of this study was to identify changes in renal function and associated DOAC dosing implications in a multicenter cohort of atrial fibrillation patients switched from warfarin to DOAC treatment. We included all patients in the Michigan Anticoagulation Quality Improvement Initiative cohort who switched from warfarin to a DOAC with atrial fibrillation as their anticoagulant indication between 2009 and 2014, and who had at least two creatinine values. Compliance with FDA-recommended dosing based on renal function was assessed. Of the 189 patients switched from warfarin to a DOAC, 34 (18.0 %) had a baseline creatinine clearance/min and 23 (12.2 %) experienced important fluctuations in renal function. Of these 23 patients, 6 (26.1 %) should have impacted the DOAC dosing, but only 1 patient actually received an appropriate dose adjustment. Additionally, 15 (7.9 %) of patients on DOACs had a dose change performed, but only one patient demonstrated a change in renal function to justify the dose adjustment. Most atrial fibrillation patients who switched from warfarin to a DOAC had stable renal function. However, the majority of patients who had a change in renal function did not receive the indicated dose change. As the use of DOACs expands, monitoring of renal function and appropriate dose adjustments are critical.

Medical Subject Headings

Administration, Oral; Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Anticoagulants; Atrial Fibrillation; Creatinine; Drug Substitution; Female; Humans; Kidney; Kidney Function Tests; Male; Middle Aged; Warfarin

PubMed ID






First Page


Last Page