Public Defence: Ole-Christian Rutherford

MD Ole-Christian Walter Rutherford at Institute of Clinical Medicine will be defending the thesis “Effectiveness and safety of oral anticoagulants for atrial fibrillation in the era of NOACs: Studies using Norwegian nationwide registries” for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor).

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Click here to participate in the public defence

An electronic copy of the thesis may be ordered from the faculty up to 2 days prior to the public defence. Inquiries regarding the thesis after the public defence must be addressed to the candidate.

Trial Lecture – time and place

See Trial Lecture.

Adjudication committee

  • First opponent: Associate Professor Johan Engdahl, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
  • Second opponent: Professor Maja-Lisa Løchen, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø
  • Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Professor II Arnljot Tveit, University of Oslo

Chair of the Defence

Professor II Dag Jacobsen, University of Oslo

Principal Supervisor

 Sigrun Halvorsen, University of Oslo


The prevalence of atrial fibrillation (AF), the most common sustained cardiac arrhythmia, is increasing rapidly. On average, it entails a two-fold increase in risk of all-cause mortality, and a five-fold increase in risk of stroke. Oral anticoagulation reduces the risk of stroke by about two thirds, and is recommended for all patients at increased risk.  Over the last decade, non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs) have replaced vitamin K antagonists (e.g. warfarin) as the preferred class of drugs for stroke prevention in AF. However, several important questions emerge as a result of this therapeutic transition. Which are the most important risk factors for adverse events such as bleeding for patients on NOACs, and are they the same as for warfarin? Is the effectiveness and safety of these drugs superior to warfarin when used in clinical practice? Also, are there important individual differences in effectiveness and safety between the NOACs? In his doctoral thesis Ole-Christian Walter Rutherford has utilised Norwegian nationwide health registries to identify predictors of future bleeding events in patients with AF using NOACs, and to derive a bleeding risk score. Furthermore, they have performed NOAC – warfarin as well as NOAC – NOAC comparisons for effectiveness and safety.

Rutherford and his collaborators found important differences between oral anticoagulants used in clinical practice both in terms of effectiveness and safety, which could aid clinicians in their everyday practice, as well as adding to the ever growing body of evidence of the properties of NOACs for stroke prophylaxis in AF.

Additional information

Contact the research support staff.



Published Feb. 4, 2022 9:34 AM - Last modified Feb. 17, 2022 12:36 PM