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International normalized ratio self-testing and self-management: improving patient outcomes

Authors Pozzi M, Mitchell J, Henaine AM, Hanna N, Safi O, Henaine R

Received 25 May 2016

Accepted for publication 12 August 2016

Published 12 October 2016 Volume 2016:12 Pages 387—392

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/VHRM.S85031

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Daniel Duprez


Matteo Pozzi,1 Julia Mitchell,2 Anna Maria Henaine,3 Najib Hanna,4 Ola Safi,4 Roland Henaine2

1Department of Adult Cardiac Surgery, “Louis Pradel” Cardiologic Hospital, Lyon, France; 2Department of Congenital Cardiac Surgery, “Louis Pradel” Cardiologic Hospital, Lyon, France; 3Clinical Pharmacology Unit, Lebanese University, Beirut, Lebanon; 4Pediatric Unit, “Hotel Dieu de France” Hospital, Saint Joseph University, Beirut, Lebanon

Abstract: Long term oral anti-coagulation with vitamin K antagonists is a risk factor of hemorrhagic or thromebomlic complications. Periodic laboratory testing of international normalized ratio (INR) and a subsequent dose adjustment are therefore mandatory. The use of home testing devices to measure INR has been suggested as a potential way to improve the comfort and compliance of the patients and their families, the frequency of monitoring and, finally, the management and safety of long-term oral anticoagulation. In pediatric patients, increased doses to obtain and maintain the therapeutic target INR, more frequent adjustments and INR testing, multiple medication, inconstant nutritional intake, difficult venepunctures, and the need to go to the laboratory for testing (interruption of school and parents’ work attendance) highlight those difficulties. After reviewing the most relevant published studies of self-testing and self-management of INR for adult patients and children on oral anticoagulation, it seems that these are valuable and effective strategies of INR control. Despite an unclear relationship between INR control and clinical effects, these self-strategies provide a better control of the anticoagulant effect, improve patients and their family quality of life, and are an appealing solution in term of cost-effectiveness. Structured education and knowledge evaluation by trained health care professionals is required for children, to be able to adjust their dose treatment safely and accurately. However, further data are necessary in order to best define those patients who might better benefit from this multidisciplinary approach.

Keywords: oral anticoagulation, vitamin K antagonists, international normalized ratio, INR self-management, INR self-testing

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