A study was recently undertaken to determine the effect of anticoagulation therapy on rates of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in patients with autoimmune disorders. Results were presented in Angiology.

Researchers evaluated data from the Registro Informatizado Enfermedad TromboEmbólica registry (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02832245) to analyze characteristics of patients with VTEs and their outcomes with anticoagulation. Patients were categorized by the presence or absence of any of several autoimmune conditions. Types of VTEs included in the analysis were pulmonary embolism (PE) and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in the lower extremities.

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There were 71,625 patients with VTEs evaluated in this study, 2.5% of whom had autoimmune disorders.

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Patients with autoimmune disorders were treated with anticoagulant therapy for a median of 190 days, compared with 182 days for those without any of the included autoimmune conditions (P =.001). Patients with autoimmune disorders showed significantly higher trends of receiving concomitant corticosteroids or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications compared with the rest of the study population.

Multivariable analysis showed that during anticoagulation therapy, for patients with autoimmune disorders, VTE recurrence occurred at a rate similar to that for the rest of the study population (hazard ratio [HR], 0.93; 95% CI, 0.68-1.27). A similar trend was seen for major bleeding events in patients with autoimmune disorders compared with patients without autoimmune disorders (HR, 1.07; 95% CI, 0.82-1.40).

Risk for death during anticoagulation was, however, slightly lower for patients with autoimmune disorders (HR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.54-0.81; P <.001) compared with the rest of the study population.

Among types of autoimmune disorders, giant cell arteritis was associated with the highest incidence of major bleeding events during anticoagulant therapy but with no recurrence of VTE.

“Patients with autoimmune disorders in our cohort had similar rates of VTE recurrence or major bleeding compared with those without,” concluded the investigators. They also noted that possible differences in event rates between patients with different types of autoimmune disorders merit further study.


  1. Sada PR, López-Núñez JJ, Samperiz A, et al. Venous thromboembolism in patients with autoimmune disorders: Findings from the RIETE Registry [published online October 2, 2019]. Angiology. doi:10.1177/0003319719875895