Practical issues in the management of novel oral anticoagulants—cardioversion and ablation

Abhishek Maan, E. Kevin Heist, Jeremy N. Ruskin, Moussa Mansour


Recent research and publication of various landmark trials have led to the approval and subsequent use of novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs) in clinical practice. The use of these newer agents for anticoagulation offers several benefits such as greater specificity, relatively rapid onset and offset of action and a predictable pharmacological profile as compared to warfarin. With the increasing use of these agents, several key issues ranging from appropriate selection to management of complications and considerations for concurrent procedures (cardioversion and catheter ablation) have also emerged. The timing of interruption of anticoagulants prior to catheter ablation and re-initiation after the procedure to minimize the peri-procedural thromboembolism risk without increasing the bleeding risk is of key relevance in electrophysiology practice. The use of NOACs in patients undergoing catheter ablation and cardioversion also requires special considerations based on the pharmacological properties of the individual agent and the presence of comorbidities such as renal and or hepatic impairment. In this review we aim to discuss the practical considerations with the use of NOACs in the setting of cardioversion and catheter ablation based on the currently available data.