Impact of anaemia on clinical outcome in patients with atrial fibrillation undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention: insights from the AFCAS registry

Marja Puurunen, Tuomas Kiviniemi, Wail Nammas, Axel Schlitt, Andrea Rubboli, Kai Nyman, Pasi Karjalainen, Paulus Kirchhof, Gregory Y H Lip, Juhani K E Airaksinen

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OBJECTIVES: Anaemia has an adverse impact on the outcome in the general patient population undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). The aim of this study was to analyse the impact of anaemia on the 12-month clinical outcome of patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) undergoing PCI and therefore requiring intense antithrombotic treatment. We hypothesised that anaemia might be associated with a worse outcome and more bleeding in these anticoagulated patients.

SETTING: Data were collected from 17 secondary care centres in Europe.

PARTICIPANTS: Consecutive patients with AF undergoing PCI were enrolled in the prospective, multicenter AFCAS (Atrial Fibrillation undergoing Coronary Artery Stenting) registry. Altogether, 929 patients participated in the study. Preprocedural haemoglobin concentration was available for 861 (92.7%; 30% women). The only exclusion criteria were inability or unwillingness to give informed consent. Anaemia was defined as a haemoglobin concentration of <12 g/dL for women and <13 g/dL for men.

OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary endpoint was occurrence of major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events (MACCE) or bleeding events.

RESULTS: 258/861 (30%) patients had anaemia. Anaemic patients were older, more often had diabetes, higher CHA2DS2-VASc scores, prior history of heart failure, chronic renal impairment and acute coronary syndrome. Anaemic patients had more MACCE than non-anaemic (29.1% vs 19.4%, respectively, p=0.002), and minor bleeding events (7.0% vs 3.3%, respectively, p=0.028), with a trend towards more total bleeding events (25.2% vs 21.7%, respectively, p=0.059). No difference was observed in antithrombotic regimens at discharge. In multivariate analysis, anaemia was an independent predictor of all-cause mortality at 12-month follow-up (hazard ratio 1.62, 95% CI 1.05 to 2.51, p=0.029).

CONCLUSIONS: Anaemia was a frequent finding in patients with AF referred for PCI. Anaemic patients had a higher all-cause mortality, more thrombotic events and minor bleeding events. Anaemia seems to be an identification of patients at risk for cardiovascular events and death.


Original languageEnglish
Article numbere004700
Number of pages7
JournalBMJ open
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2014


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