Direct Oral Anticoagulants in Obese Patients with Venous Thromboembolism: Results of an Expert Consensus Panel

Published:February 15, 2023DOI:


      In clinical practice, direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) are increasingly used for venous thromboembolism treatment and prevention. A substantial proportion of patients with venous thromboembolism are also obese. International guidance published in 2016 stated that DOACs could be used in standard doses in patients with obesity up to a body mass index [BMI] of 40 kg/m2, but should not be used in those with severe obesity (BMI > 40 kg/m2) owing to limited supporting data at the time. Although updated guidance in 2021 removed this limitation, some healthcare providers still avoid DOACs even in patients with lower levels of obesity. Furthermore, there are still evidence gaps regarding treatment of severe obesity, the role of peak and trough DOAC levels in these patients, use of DOACs after bariatric surgery, and appropriateness of DOAC dose reduction in the setting of secondary venous thromboembolism prevention. This document describes proceedings and outcomes of a multidisciplinary panel convened to review these and other key issues regarding DOAC use for treatment or prevention of venous thromboembolism in individuals with obesity.


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