Siegbahn A, Lindbäck J, Hijazi Z, Åberg M, Alexander JH, Eikelboom JW, Lopes RD, Pol T, Oldgren J, Granger CB, Yusuf S, Wallentin L
J. Thromb. Haemost. 19 (11) 2726-2737 [2021-11-00; online 2021-08-24]
Oral anticoagulants (OAC) in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) prevent thromboembolic events, but are associated with significant risk of bleeding. To explore associations between a wide range of biomarkers and bleeding risk in patients with AF on OAC. Biomarkers were analyzed in a random sample of 4200 patients, 204 cases with major bleedings, from ARISTOTLE. The replication cohort included 344 cases with major bleeding and 1024 random controls from RE-LY. Plasma samples obtained at randomization were analyzed by the Olink Proximity Extension Assay cardiovascular and inflammation panels and conventional immunoassays. The associations between biomarker levels and major bleeding over 1 to 3 years of follow-up were evaluated by random survival forest/Boruta analyses and Cox regression analyses to assess linear associations and hazard ratios for identified biomarkers. Out of 268 proteins, nine biomarkers were independently associated with bleeding in both cohorts. In the replication cohort the linear hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals) per interquartile range were for these biomarkers: TNF-R1 1.748 (1.456, 2.098), GDF-15 1.653 (1.377, 1.985), EphB4 1.575 (1.320, 1.880), suPAR 1.548 (1.294, 1.851), OPN 1.476 (1.240, 1.757), OPG 1.397 (1.156, 1.688), TNF-R2 1.360 (1.144,1.616), cTnT-hs 1.232 (1.067, 1.423), and TRAIL-R2 1.202 (1.069, 1.351). In patients with AF on OAC, GDF-15, cTnT-hs, and seven novel biomarkers were independently associated with major bleedings and reflect pathophysiologic processes of inflammation, apoptosis, oxidative stress, vascular calcification, coagulation, and fibrinolysis. Investigations of the utility of these markers to refine risk stratification and guide the management of patients at high risk of bleeding are warranted.