Background: Current guidelines recommend anticoagulation using warfarin with bridging parenteral anticoagulation or one of the non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs) to prevent thromboembolic events in patients undergoing cardioversion for atrial fibrillation (AF). We aimed to compare by meta-analytical techniques, the safety and efficacy of NOACs versus warfarin in patients undergoing cardioversion. Methods: PUBMED, EMBASE, Cochrane CENTRAL and CINAHL were searched electronically in addition to manual search for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing NOACs and warfarin in patients undergoing cardioversion for AF. Mortality, major bleeding and ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke were compared between the two agents. Results: A total of 7 trials with 7588 total patients were included in the meta-analysis. NOACs, as compared to warfarin, resulted in similar risk of ischemic stroke [odds ratio (OR): 0.49 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.20–1.19; P = 0.12], major bleeding [0.71 (0.37–1.38), P = 0.32], mortality [0.73 (0.32–1.67); P = 0.45], and hemorrhagic stroke [0.96 (0.11–8.70); P = 0.97]. The results were consistent across subgroup analyses. Conclusions: Based on the current meta-analysis, NOACs and warfarin have comparable efficacy and safety in patients with atrial fibrillation undergoing cardioversion.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine