Risk of rebleeding, vascular events and death after gastrointestinal bleeding in anticoagulant and/or antiplatelet users.

Sostres C, Marcén B, Laredo V, Alfaro E, Ruiz L, Camo P, Carrera-Lasfuentes P, Lanas Á.

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2019 Oct;50(8):919-929. doi: 10.1111/apt.15441. Epub 2019 Sep 4.


Patients with gastrointestinal bleeding during anticoagulant and/or antiplatelet therapy represent a clinical challenge.


To determine the risk/rates of rebleeding, vascular events and death in patients treated with antiplatelet or anticoagulant agents who developed major gastrointestinal bleeding METHODS: This was an observational cohort study of patients who developed gastrointestinal bleeding while on antiplatelet and/or anticoagulant therapy. Drug use information was collected prospectively during bleeding events. Cox proportional hazards models were used to evaluate rebleeding, vascular events and death.


Among 871 patients (mean age 78.9 ± 8.6 years), 38.9% used an anticoagulant, 52.5% used an antiplatelet and 8.6% used both; 93.1% interrupted treatment after gastrointestinal bleeding and 80.5% restarted therapy within 7.6 ± 36.4 days; 38.7% had upper gastrointestinal bleeds, 46.7% lower gastrointestinal bleeds and 14.6% gastrointestinal bleeds of unknown origin. Median follow-up was 24.9 months (IQR: 7.0-38.0). Resumption of both therapies was associated with a higher risk of rebleeding, lower risk of ischaemic events or death and a similar risk for upper and lower gastrointestinal events. Resumption of therapy ≤ 7 days after bleeding showed a similar pattern with no differences in death. Rebleeding rates were higher in anticoagulant vs antiplatelet patients (138.0 vs 99.0 events per 1000 patient-years), and the bleeding location was identical in 61.8% of cases.


Resumption of anticoagulant or antiplatelet therapy after a gastrointestinal bleeding event was associated with a lower risk of vascular events and death and a higher rebleeding risk. The benefits of early reinstitution of anticoagulant/antiplatelet therapy outweigh the gastrointestinal-related risks.