T. Gremmel and A. Niessner share first authorship and are listed in alphabetical order.
A correction to this article is available online at https://doi.org/10.1007/s00508-019-1467-8.
The non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs) have considerably changed clinical practice and are increasingly being used as an alternative to vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) for 3 main reasons: 1) an improved benefit-risk ratio (in particular lower rates of intracranial bleeding), 2) a more predictable effect without the need for routine monitoring, and 3) fewer food and drug interactions compared with VKAs. Currently, there are four NOACs available: the factor Xa inhibitors apixaban, edoxaban, and rivaroxaban, and the thrombin inhibitor dabigatran. This consensus paper reviews the properties and usage of NOACs in a number of high-risk patient populations, such as patients with chronic kidney disease, patients ≥80 years of age and others and provides guidance for the use of NOACs in patients at risk of bleeding.