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Safety of anticoagulation use for treatment of portal vein thrombosis in liver cirrhosis and its effect on hospital-based outcomes: an insight from a US nationwide database


Background and aim Anticoagulation use for portal vein thrombosis (PVT) in patients with advanced liver disease is controversial. We investigated the effect of anticoagulation on outcomes in patients with PVT with cirrhosis.

Methods We reviewed National Inpatient Sample data from 2016 to 2018 to identify patients with PVT. Our outcomes were in-hospital mortality, variceal bleeding, hepatic encephalopathy, acute kidney injury (AKI), hepatorenal syndrome (HRS), spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP), sepsis and hospital resource utilisation.

Results We included 60 505 patients with PVT, out of whom 6.63% (4015) were on anticoagulation. The overall mortality in the anticoagulation group was 2.12% compared with 9.72% in the no anticoagulation group. The adjusted odds of mortality were low in the anticoagulation group (adjusted OR (AOR) 0.27, 95% CI 0.15 to 0.46, p<0.001). Patients on anticoagulation had 29% lower odds of variceal bleeding (AOR 0.71, 95% CI 0.53 to 0.96, p=0.03). Lower odds of HRS (AOR 0.56, 95% CI 0.37 to 0.85, p=0.01) and AKI (AOR 0.57, 95% CI 0.48 to 0.69, p<0.001) were also seen in the anticoagulation group. Patients in the anticoagulation group also showed lower odds of SBP (AOR 0.62, 95% CI 0.43 to 0.89, p=0.01) and sepsis (AOR 0.57, 95% CI 0.35 to 0.93, p=0.03). Anticoagulation use resulted in shorter hospital stay by 1.15 days (adjusted length of stay −1.15, 95% CI −1.51 to –0.79, p<0.001). The mean difference in total hospital charges between the anticoagulation and the no anticoagulation group was −$20 034 (95% CI −$27 077 to −$12 991, p<0.001).

Conclusion Our analysis found that anticoagulation use is safe and associated with better outcomes in patients with PVT with advanced liver disease.

  • Hepatobiliary disease
  • Endoscopy

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request. We performed our study on the National Inpatient Sample (NIS), the largest, publicly available, all-payer inpatient database maintained by the Agency of Health Care and Utilization. We will provide data on request after approval from the Agency of Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project.

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