Evaluation of the chromogenic anti-factor IIa assay to assess dabigatran exposure in geriatric patients with atrial fibrillation in an outpatient setting

Luigi Brunetti, Betty Sanchez-Catanese, Leonid Kagan, Xia Wen, Min Liu, Brian Buckley, James P. Luyendyk, Lauren M. Aleksunes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: Dabigatran etexilate may be underutilized in geriatric patients because of inadequate clinical experience in individuals with severe renal impairment and post-marketing reports of bleeding events. Assessing the degree of anticoagulation may improve the risk:benefit ratio for dabigatran. The aim of this prospective study was to identify whether therapeutic drug monitoring of dabigatran anticoagulant activity using a chromogenic anti-factor IIa assay is a viable option for therapy individualization. Methods: Plasma dabigatran concentration was assessed in nine patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation aged 75 years or older currently receiving dabigatran etexilate for prevention of stroke, using an anti-factor IIa chromogenic assay and HPLC-MS/MS. Trough concentrations were evaluated on two separate occasions to determine intrapatient variation. Results: Blood was collected at 13.1 ± 2.3 h (mean ± SD) post dose from patients prescribed dabigatran etexilate 150 mg twice daily (5/9 patients) or dabigatran etexilate 75 mg twice daily (4/9 patients). Results from the anti-factor IIa chromogenic assay correlated with dabigatran concentrations as assessed by HPLC-MS/MS (r 2 = 0.81, n = 16). There was no correlation between dabigatran trough values taken at separate visits (r 2 = 0.002, n = 7). Furthermore, there was no correlation found between the drug concentrations and patients' renal function determined by both creatinine and cystatin-C based equations. None of the patients enrolled in the study were in the proposed on-therapy trough range during at least one visit. Conclusion: The chromogenic anti-factor IIa assay demonstrated similar performance in quantifying dabigatran plasma trough concentrations to HPLC-MS/MS. Single measurement of dabigatran concentration by either of two methods during routine visits may not be reliable in identifying patients at consistently low or high dabigatran concentrations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number10
JournalThrombosis Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 6 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hematology


  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Chromogenic anti-factor IIa
  • Dabigatran
  • Geriatric


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