Direct oral anticoagulants: When to consider laboratory testing?

H. ten Cate*, R. H. Olie, A. J. ten Cate-Hoek, Y. M. C. Henskens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Introduction: Direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) are increasingly prescribed for prevention of thromboembolic stroke, as well as for prevention and treatment of venous thromboembolism. Dose adjustment based on laboratory testing is not required; however, there are several potential situations that deserve insight into a DOAC plasma activity level. Methods: Based on a series of real-life case descriptions, we discuss indications for dedicated DOAC testing, as well as the interpretation and consequences. Results: Testing of DOACs in selected patients may help to better interpret acute situations such as bleeding or thrombosis while on anticoagulation, but also suspected drug failure, drug accumulation, or lack of adherence. Conclusion: The 24/7 availability of target-specific tests with adequate calibration is recommended to support the clinician in the interpretation and where needed adjustment of the management of patients on DOACs. The relevance of laboratory-guided DOAC management, particularly in the elderly, merits further study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-33
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Laboratory Hematology
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018
Event31st International Symposium of the International-Society-for-Laboratory-Hematology (ISLH) on Technological Innovations in Laboratory Hematology - Brussels, BELGIUM, Brussels
Duration: 1 May 2018 → …


  • anticoagulation
  • bleeding
  • direct oral anticoagulant
  • laboratory assay
  • thrombosis
  • RISK


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