Oral anticoagulants and relative risk of acute kidney injury in patients with atrial fibrillation: A systematic review and network meta-analysis

Shengyuan Luo, Laith A. Derbas, Yumeng Wen, Sally Arif, Melissa Tracy, Jeremiah Wasserlauf, Henry D. Huang, Jochen Reiser, Kim A. Williams, Annabelle Santos Volgman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Study objective: Oral anticoagulants (direct oral anticoagulants [DOACs] or warfarin) prevent stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), but their use may be associated with acute kidney injury (AKI). We aimed to compare AKI risk across individual oral anticoagulants in patients with AF. Design: Systematic review and network meta-analysis. Setting: Randomized trials and population-based studies. Participants: Patients with AF. Interventions: Oral anticoagulants. Main outcome measures: AKI. Results: A systematic literature search in Medline and Embase databases performed on December 17, 2021 identified ten randomized trials and eight population-based longitudinal studies based on prespecified inclusion criteria for systematic review. Clinical trials had short follow-ups and reported only low event rates of serious AKI. Retrospective longitudinal studies were assessed to be at higher risk for bias from confounding and outcome ascertainment, but follow-up was longer (1.5 to 8 years), with AKI incidence ranging from 2 to 29/100 person-years. Eight longitudinal studies that met transitivity assumption were included in a random-effects network meta-analysis within a Bayesian framework. All DOACs were associated with significantly lower risk of AKI compared to warfarin. Dabigatran was associated with lower risk of AKI compared to apixaban (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.82; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.68–0.99), rivaroxaban (HR = 0.84; 95%CI: 0.72–0.98), and warfarin (HR = 0.68; 95%CI: 0.59–0.77). Effect size estimates varied by chronic kidney disease status and study geographic locations. Conclusion: Apixaban, rivaroxaban, and dabigatran were associated with lower long-term risk of AKI compared to warfarin among patients with AF, with dabigatran potentially associated with the lowest risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100132
JournalAmerican Heart Journal Plus: Cardiology Research and Practice
StatePublished - Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute kidney injury
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Network meta-analysis
  • Oral anticoagulants
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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