Anticoagulants are widely used in clinical practice, for prophylaxis and treatment of thromboembolic events. This guideline covers anticoagulants licensed for use in the UK at the time of publication, with the exception of vitamin K antagonists, covered in a separate guideline. Some anticoagulants, such are unfractionated heparin, require monitoring, whilst many others do not. However, the ability to measure the concentration of these drugs in the plasma of patients is important, and the effect of the drugs on routine and specialist coagulation tests must be understood to avoid misinterpretation of results.

The guideline covers the effects of direct thrombin and Xa inhibitors, and indirect Xa inhibitors on tests of haemostasis, and recommends on the assays required to measure drug concentration.

The H&T task force decided that an audit for this guideline would not be useful.   


Declaration of Interests

The BSH paid the expenses incurred during the writing of this guidance. None of the authors had conflicts of interest to declare. All authors have made a declaration of interests to the BSH and Task Force Chairs which may be viewed on request.