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Oral anticoagulants for the treatment of venous thromboembolism



Oral anticoagulants for the treatment of venous thromboembolism



Bailliere's Clinical Haematology 11(3): 639-661



Oral anticoagulation has been the mainstay of therapy for the long-term treatment of venous thromboembolism since the 1940s. The rationale for the use of oral anticoagulation is based on the results of both empirical clinical evidence and animal models of thrombosis in the 1950s and 1960s. Higher-quality studies emerged in the 1970s and 1980s demonstrating the benefit of initial heparinization for venous thromboembolism followed by long-term oral anticoagulation. Good clinical outcomes with oral anticoagulation are highly dependent on the quality of dose management. Excellent management is best achieved in a programme of focused and co-ordinated care, often referred to as an anticoagulation clinic. Such programmes achieve better outcomes at reduced costs because of fewer adverse events. New models of anticoagulation management are emerging with the development of point-of-care testing that enables patients to do their own prothrombin time monitoring and anticoagulation dose adjustment. These models have the potential to improve care further, to increase patient satisfaction and to reduce costs.

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Accession: 046876172

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PMID: 10331097


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