Spontaneous and non-spontaneous bleeding complications in patients with oral vitamin K antagonist therapy


Purpose: The aim of the study was to evaluate potential differences between patients with spontaneous and non-spontaneous bleeding episodes during treatment with vitamin K antagonists which mainly resulted in compartment syndromes. Methods: The population in this study comprised 116 patients who suffered at least one bleeding complication which required surgical treatment during therapy with an oral vitamin K antagonist. The patients were treated between September 2001 and July 2008. Results: Significant differences were observed between the two patient groups with regard to the presence of renal failure, arterial hypertension, and diabetes mellitus, which occurred more frequently in patients with spontaneous bleeding. Also, significantly more patients with spontaneous bleedings developed compartment syndrome that needed emergency operation. Overall mortality was 9.6 %, was associated with multiorgan failure in all patients, and was not different between the two patient groups. Conclusions: The identification of high-risk patients before treatment with an oral vitamin K antagonist is of major importance. The existence of over-anticoagulation syndrome and compartment syndrome is associated with significant mortality and morbidity and should not be underestimated.

Original languageEnglish
JournalLangenbeck's Archives of Surgery
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)99-107
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 01.2014

Research Areas and Centers

  • Research Area: Luebeck Integrated Oncology Network (LION)


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