Clinical use and laboratory testing of oral anticoagulation therapy: experience from Finland
Anticoagulation therapy has been undergoing a transition during the last decade with the progressive availability of direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs). While DOACs are increasingly used in common indications for anticoagulation, including non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF), deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE), traditional anticoagulants, either warfarin or heparins, remain the primary choice for patients with cardiac valvular replacement, severe thrombophilia, pediatric, pregnant and many cancer patients. Laboratory monitoring of warfarin and heparins are well established, while under specific emergency conditions DOACs require specific assays, the availability of which may be limited. Finland benefits from centralized laboratory networks, offering harmonized services throughout our rather sparsely populated country. Specific assays for all DOACs are available 24/7 in the core laboratory (Southern Finland). Interaction, collaboration and continuous education between clinic and laboratory is increasingly needed, under the era of rapid change of traditions in anticoagulation management.