Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Novel anticoagulants versus LMWH for VTE prophylaxis in orthopedic patients

A systemic review in the Annals of Internal Medicine:

Data Synthesis: Six good-quality systematic reviews compared NOACs with low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) for thromboprophylaxis after THR or TKR. Risk for symptomatic deep venous thrombosis, but not risk for death or nonfatal pulmonary embolism, was reduced with factor Xa inhibitors compared with LMWH (4 fewer events per 1000 patients). Conversely, the risk for major bleeding increased (2 more events per 1000 patients). Outcomes of dabigatran did not significantly differ from those of LMWH. Indirect evaluation of NOACs by common comparison with LMWH showed nonsignificantly reduced risks for venous thromboembolism with rivaroxaban compared with dabigatran (risk ratio [RR], 0.68 [95% CI, 0.21 to 2.23]) and apixaban (RR, 0.59 [CI, 0.26 to 1.33]) but increased major bleeding. New oral anticoagulants have not been compared with warfarin, aspirin, or unfractionated heparin.
Limitations: Head-to-head comparisons among NOACs were not available. Efficacy is uncertain in routine clinical practice.
Conclusion: New oral anticoagulants are effective for thromboprophylaxis after THR and TKR. Their clinical benefits over LMWH are marginal and offset by increased risk for major bleeding.

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