New Blood Clot Prevention Strategy Could Reduce Venous Thrombosis Events

Study shows considerable effect on non-fatal blood clots

Feinstein Institute for Medical Research Professor Alex C. Spyropoulos, MD, recently uncovered an anticoagulant treatment strategy to reduce non-fatal blood clots and pulmonary embolism in acutely-ill hospitalized patients, according to clinical findings published last month in The New England Journal of Medicine.

These results presented at the 2018 European Society of Cardiology Annual Congress in Munich have the potential to reduce venous thrombosis and non-fatal pulmonary embolism in up to 30 percent of acutely-ill hospitalized patients. This novel treatment strategy could potentially prevent tens of thousands of symptomatic venous thrombosis events each year.

Dr. Spyropoulos examined whether administering the medication rivaroxaban would help prevent symptomatic venous thrombosis and death related to blood clots after patients are discharged from a hospital. While the trial found the medication was unable to reduce death due to blood clots, the study did identify a potential treatment strategy for those with non-fatal blood clots.

“We were able to reduce instances of non-fatal blood clots and pulmonary embolism by more than half, which shows that the use of direct oral anticoagulants such as Xarelto after the hospitalization of medically ill patients could help prevent clots from forming,” said Dr. Spyropoulos.

In this double-blind, randomized trial, more than 6,000 patients were given rivaroxaban and another 6,000-plus participants provided placebo while in the hospital and for 45 days after discharge. Of those patients, only 0.18 percent in the rivaroxaban group suffered from nonfatal venous thromboembolism versus 0.42 percent of patients in the placebo group, a statistically significant difference. The incidence of major bleeding was very low and not significantly different between groups (0.28 percent in the rivaroxaban group versus 0.15 percent in the placebo group).

“Dr. Spyropoulos’ discovery of a new treatment avenue for blood clots has the potential to positively benefit patients across the globe,” said Kevin J. Tracey, MD, president and CEO of the Feinstein Institute.

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