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Idarucizumab (PRADAXA®) as a sole reversal agent in an unstable hemorrhagic shock patient on an unknown anticoagulant with elevated protime/international normalized ratio (PT/INR).

Published:February 05, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajem.2021.01.086

      Abstract

      Dabigatran is a direct oral anticoagulant thrombin inhibitor approved for stroke prophylaxis in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation and prophylaxis or treatment of venous thromboembolism. Since approval, there has been increasing concern regarding bleeding risk, predominantly in the elderly population and those with renal disease.
      We present a case of an 85-year-old female with an unknown medication history, shortness of breath and severe anemia due to an upper gastrointestinal bleed. Laboratory abnormalities were significant for INR 6.43 and serum creatinine 2.21 mg/dL. While in the emergency department the patient decompensated requiring intubation, aggressive crystalloid resuscitation, blood products and initiation of vasopressors. The inability to distinguish between warfarin- and dabigatran-induced coagulopathies paired with the lack of medical information complicated selection of the appropriate anticoagulation reversal agent. In an attempt to prevent a prothrombotic state, prothrombin complex concentrates (PCC) were held and reversal was accomplished with idarucizumab alone, although warfarin-induced coagulopathy remained a possibility. 30 min after administration, repeat PT/INR was 16.1 s and 1.55, respectively. It was later confirmed that the patient was on sole dabigatran therapy.
      This case highlights the potential for dabigatran to cause extreme elevation in PT/INR in patients with acute renal failure, which may mimic warfarin-induced coagulopathy. Further, it demonstrates significant, rapid correction of abnormal coagulation assays following administration of idarucizumab in a patient with severe INR elevation and suspected dabigatran use.

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