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The use of oral anticoagulants for the treatment of venous thromboembolic events in an ED



The use of oral anticoagulants for the treatment of venous thromboembolic events in an ED



American Journal of Emergency Medicine 32(12): 1526-1533



Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a disease spectrum that ranges from deep vein thrombosis (DVT) to pulmonary embolism (PE). Rapid diagnosis and treatment of VTE by emergency care providers are critical for decreasing patient mortality, morbidity, and the incidence of recurrent events. Recent American College of Chest Physicians guidelines recommend initial treatment with unfractionated heparin, low-molecular weight heparin, or fondaparinux overlapped with warfarin for a minimum of 5 days for the treatment of VTE in most cases. Warfarin monotherapy is thereafter continued for 3, 6, or 12 months. These guidelines were published before the approval of target-specific oral anticoagulants (TSOACs), and they have yet to be updated to reflect these new treatment options. For some patients, TSOACs, which act by directly inhibiting factor IIa or factor Xa, may provide safer, more convenient alternatives to warfarin. Their advantages include ease of use, reduced monitoring requirements, and lower bleeding risk than traditional therapy. Additionally, clinical trials have established noninferiority of TSOACs to warfarin for the prevention of recurrent VTE. These trials have demonstrated that TSOACs exhibit similar or lower bleeding rates, particularly intracranial bleeding rates compared with warfarin. Anticoagulation therapy with TSOACs may allow early discharge or outpatient management options for low-risk patients with DVT and PE. This review addresses the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of VTE, outcomes of VTE risk assessment, key efficacy and safety data from phase 3 clinical trials for the various TSOACs for the treatment of DVT and PE, and the corresponding considerations for clinical practice.

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Accession: 056527054

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 25315880

DOI: 10.1016/j.ajem.2014.08.075


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