Vitamin-K antagonists have played a dominant role in the long-term management of patients with venous thromboembolism, and large trials from the past decade reinforced warfarin's effectiveness as an intermediate-duration and extended-duration anticoagulant. However, promising new oral direct thrombin inhibitors are proving to be at least as effective and as safe as the vitamin-K antagonists, without the associated hepatic toxicity that was seen with earlier orally administered direct thrombin inhibitors. This article reviews the recently published Dabigatran versus Warfarin in the Treatment of Acute Venous Thromboembolism clinical trial, and discusses the limitations and clinical applicability of the trial, especially in comparison with vitamin-K antagonists and the recently studied oral direct factor Xa inhibitors, rivaroxaban and apixaban.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine