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Efficacy of Direct Acting Oral Anticoagulants in Treatment of Left Ventricular Thrombus

      Direct acting oral anticoagulants (DOACs) are increasingly used as off-label alternatives to vitamin K antagonists for the treatment of left ventricular (LV) thrombus. However, efficacy data is limited to small case series and one meta-analysis of case reports. We aimed to determine the efficacy and safety of DOACs in treatment of LV thrombus utilizing transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) and clinical outcomes. We identified 52 patients (mean age = 64 years, 71% men) treated with a DOAC for LV thrombus (n = 26 apixaban, n = 24 rivaroxaban, and n = 2 dabigatran). Thirty-five of the 52 patients had a follow-up TTE after DOAC initiation. The primary end point was defined as resolution of LV thrombus (in patients with a subsequent TTE), or death, major bleeding requiring transfusion, intracranial hemorrhage, ischemic stroke, or peripheral embolization. An experienced echocardiographer (M.L.M.) reviewed all TTEs for presence or absence of LV thrombus without knowledge of time point or clinical data. Twenty-nine of the 35 (83%) patients who underwent follow-up TTE had resolution of LV thrombus, with a mean duration of 264 days. Of the total study population, there was 1 cardioembolic event (transient ischemic attack) 52 days after initiating DOAC, 3 gastrointestinal bleeds requiring transfusion, and 1 patient with epistaxis requiring transfusion. All patients with a hemorrhagic complication were receiving concomitant antiplatelet therapy. DOAC therapy appears promising for the treatment of LV thrombus. A larger, prospective study is warranted to confirm these results.
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