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    Relationship of Warfarin and Apixaban with Vascular Function in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation

    Junejo, Rehan T ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0670-8339, Gupta, Dhiraj, Snowdon, Richard L, Lip, Gregory YH and Fisher, James P (2024) Relationship of Warfarin and Apixaban with Vascular Function in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation. Journal of Vascular Research. pp. 1-9. ISSN 1018-1172

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    Introduction: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is associated with endothelial damage/dysfunction. Herein, we tested the hypothesis that brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD) is superior in AF patients taking apixaban compared to warfarin. Methods: AF patients on apixaban (n = 46; 67 [7] years; mean [standard deviation]; 15 women) and warfarin (n = 27; 73 [9] years (p < 0.01); 11 women) were recruited. Duplex Doppler ultrasound imaging was undertaken during baseline (2 min), cuff inflation (5 min), and following cuff deflation (3 min). FMD was defined as peak increase in brachial artery diameter following cuff deflation and analysed as percentage change in diameter, as a ratio of FMD, shear rate area under the curve (SRAUC; FMD-to-SRAUC), and using SRAUC as a covariate (FMDSR). Results: Baseline artery diameter (4.96 [1.14] vs. 4.89 [0.88] mm), peak diameter (5.12 [1.17] vs. 5.14 [0.93] mm), and FMDSR (3.89 [3.62] vs. 4.80 [3.60] %) were not different between warfarin and apixaban (p > 0.05; analysis of covariance with age, CHA2DS2-VASc, years since AF diagnosis, number of diabetics, alcohol drinkers, and units of alcohol consumed per week as covariates). Stepwise multiple regression identified independent association of fibrillation, hypertension, and increased age with FMD. Conclusion: AF patients on warfarin and apixaban exhibit similar endothelium-dependent vasodilation. Increased blood pressure negatively impacts vasodilator capacity in AF patients.

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