Alternatives to Vitamin K Antagonists for A-Fib Assessed

Stephan H. Schirmer, MD, PhD et al

New, directly acting oral anticoagulants could serve as alternatives to vitamin K antagonists (VKA) for preventing stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), according to a review published in the Dec. 14/21 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Stephan H. Schirmer, M.D., Ph.D., of the Universitätsklinikum des Saarlandes in Homburg, Germany, and colleagues reviewed the latest advances in the development of novel anticoagulants for preventing ischemic stroke in patients with AF.

The researchers write that recently developed anticoagulants include factor Xa inhibitors such as rivaroxaban, apixaban, betrixaban, and edoxaban and direct thrombin antagonists such as dabigatran. The only data currently available are from a phase III trial showing that dabigatran is at least noninferior in efficacy to VKA for stroke and systolic embolism prevention in AF patients.

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