Anticoagulation in emergency general surgery: Who bleeds more? The EAST multicenter trials ACES study


Lindsay O'Meara, From the University of Maryland Medical Center (L.O.), Baltimore, Maryland; Mount Sinai South Nassau (J.N.B.), Oceanside, New York; Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center (A.C.), Hershey, Pennsylvania; UCHealth Memorial Hospital (C.D.), Colorado Springs, Colorado; RWJMS, Rutgers at Newark (J.C.), Newark, New Jersey; Allina Health/Abbott Northwestern Hospital (D.S.C.), Minneapolis, Minnesota; Northwestern University (J.P.), Evanston, Illinois; George Washington University (J.E.), Washington, district of Columbia; Columbia University Irving Medical Center (B.H.), New York, New York; Cooper University (A.G.), Camden, New Jersey; Marshfield Clinic (D.C.C.), Marshfield, Wisconsin; Loma Linda University School of Medicine (R.D.C.), Loma Linda, California; Tufts Medical Center, Tuft University School of Medicine (N.B.), Boston, Massachusetts; Anne Arundel Medical Center (C.F.), Parole, Maryland; Memorial Health University Medical Center (K.M.), Savannah, Georgia; Brooke Army Medical Center (V.S.), Fort Sam Houston, Texas; Sidney Kimmel Medical College: Thomas Jefferson University (P.S.L.), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; University of California Irvine Medical Center (J.N.), Irvine, California; McLaren Oakland Hospital (J.D.P.), Pontiac, Michigan; Sanford Health (L.H.), Sioux Falls, South Dakota; University of Kentucky Medical Center (J.R.), Lexington, Kentucky; and Methodist Medical Center (M.T.), Dallas, Texas.
Ashling Zhang
Jeffrey N. Baum
Amanda Cooper
Cassandra Decker
Thomas Schroeppel
Jenny Cai
Daniel C. Cullinane
Richard D. Catalano
Nikolay Bugaev
Madison J. LeClair
Cristina Feather
Katherine McBride
Valerie Sams
Pak Shan Leung
Samantha Olafson
Devon S. Callahan
Joseph Posluszny
Simon Moradian
Jordan Estroff
Beth Hochman
Natasha L. Coleman
Anna Goldenberg-Sandau
Jeffry Nahmias
Kathryn Rosenbaum
Jason D. Pasley
Lindsay Boll
Leah Hustad
Jessica Reynolds
Michael Truitt
Roumen Vesselinov
Mira Ghneim

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



The journal of trauma and acute care surgery








BACKGROUND: While direct oral anticoagulant (DOAC) use is increasing in the Emergency General Surgery (EGS) patient population, our understanding of their bleeding risk in the acute setting remains limited. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of perioperative bleeding complications in patients using DOACs versus warfarin and AP therapy requiring urgent/emergent EGS procedures (EGSPs). METHODS: This was a prospective observational trial, conducted between 2019 and 2022, across 21 centers. Inclusion criteria were 18 years or older, DOAC, warfarin/AP use within 24 hours of requiring an urgent/emergent EGSP. Demographics, preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative data were collected. ANOVA, χ 2 , and multivariable regression models were used to conduct the analysis. RESULTS: Of the 413 patients enrolled in the study, 261 (63%) reported warfarin/AP use and 152 (37%) reported DOAC use. Appendicitis and cholecystitis were the most frequent indication for operative intervention in the warfarin/AP group (43.4% vs. 25%, p = 0.001). Small bowel obstruction/abdominal wall hernias were the main indication for operative intervention in the DOAC group (44.7% vs. 23.8%, p = 0.001). Intraoperative, postoperative, and perioperative bleeding complications and in-hospital mortality were similar between the two groups. After adjusting for confounders, a history of chemotherapy (odds ratio [OR], 4.3; p = 0.015) and indication for operative intervention including occlusive mesenteric ischemia (OR, 4.27; p = 0.016), nonocclusive mesenteric ischemia (OR, 3.13; p = 0.001), and diverticulitis (OR, 3.72; p = 0.019) were associated with increased perioperative bleeding complications. The need for an intraoperative transfusion (OR, 4.87; p < 0.001), and intraoperative vasopressors (OR, 4.35; p = 0.003) were associated with increased in-hospital mortality. CONCLUSION: Perioperative bleeding complications and mortality are impacted by the indication for EGSPs and patient's severity of illness rather than a history of DOAC or warfarin/AP use. Therefore, perioperative management should be guided by patient physiology and indication for surgery rather than the concern for recent antiplatelet or anticoagulant use. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Prognostic and Epidemiologic; Level III.