Atrial fibrillation (AF) and chronic kidney disease (CKD) are disorders with increasing prevalence. The presence of CKD increases the risk of incident AF and vice versa, and the presence of AF may accelerate CKD progression. Nearly a third of patients with established CKD also have AF, whilst half of AF patients may have some degree of renal dysfunction. Both AF and CKD are associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, including significantly increased risk of stroke or systemic embolism. Oral anticoagulant therapy (OAC), either with vitamin K antagonists or with non-vitamin K oral anticoagulants (NOACs) is essential to optimise prevention of stroke and systemic embolism in AF patients with one or more stroke risk factors, and NOACs are more convenient and generally safer than vitamin K antagonists mostly due to consistently reduced risk of intracranial bleeding. The use of OAC must be balanced against the risk of OAC-related bleeding, which depends on the presence of bleeding risk factors. Renal failure is a well-established bleeding risk factor and renal function should be routinely assessed in all patients presenting with AF. Since the risk of bleeding increases in parallel with CKD severity, the clinical decision to use OAC in AF patients with severe CKD may be challenging. In this review article we summarize the OAC agents currently used in clinical practice and discuss the role of NOACs for stroke prevention in patients with AF and CKD.
|Journal||Current medicinal chemistry|
|Publication status||Published - 10 Feb 2016|