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Direct thrombin inhibitors for the treatment of venous thromboembolism: analysis of the Dabigatran versus Warfarin clinical trial.

Author(s): Liem TK, Deloughery TG.

Affiliation(s): Division of Vascular Surgery, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR 97239, USA. Liemt@ohsu.edu

Publication date & source: 2011, Semin Vasc Surg. , 24(3):157-61

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.

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