The role of anticoagulation (AC) in the management of cirrhotic patients with portal vein thrombosis (PVT) remains unclear.
We conducted a retrospective study of cirrhotic patients diagnosed with PVT from 1/1/2000 through 2/1/2019, comparing those who received AC to those who did not.
Outcomes included rate of complete radiographic resolution (CRR) of PVT, recanalization of occlusive PVT (RCO), PVT extension, major bleeding, and overall survival (OS). The log-rank test was used to compare Kaplan-Meier distributions of time-to-event outcomes. Multivariable Cox-proportional-hazards modeling was used to estimate adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals.
A total of 214 patients were followed for a median 27 months (IQR 12-48). Eighty-six patients (39%) received AC. AC was associated with significantly greater CRR (48% vs. 27%, p = 0.0007), (multivariable HR for CRR with AC; 2.49 (1.54-4.04, p = 0.0002)). AC was also associated with significantly greater RCO (69% vs. 28%, p = 0.0013), (multivariable HR for RCO with AC; 4.86 (1.91-12.37, p = 0.0009)). Rates of major bleeding were similar with and without AC (20% vs. 17%, p = 0.5207), multivariable HR for major bleeding with AC; 1.29 (0.68-2.46, p = 0.4423)). OS rates in the AC and no-AC groups were 83% and 70%, respectively (p = 0.1362), (HR for death with AC; 0.69 (0.38-1.28, p = 0.2441)). Among 75 patients who had CRR, 10 (13%) experienced recurrent PVT during follow-up (none were receiving AC at the time of recurrence).
AC appears safe and effective for the treatment of cirrhotic PVT; however, prospective studies to confirm these findings and evaluate additional outcomes are needed.