Second Look: Clinical

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Studies examine treatments for VTE
A study in the Sept. 13 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine examined the use of idraparinux as a treatment for venous thromboembolic (VTE) disease. Investigators found that in patients with deep venous thrombosis (DVT), a once-weekly dose of subcutaneous idraparinux (2.5 mg) for 3 or 6 months had an efficacy similar to that of heparin plus an adjusted-dose vitamin K antagonist (standard therapy). However, in patients with pulmonary embolism (PE), idraparinux was less efficacious than standard therapy. The randomized trials involved 2,904 patients with DVT and 2,215 patients with PE.

In the DVT cohort, the incidence of recurrence among patients treated with idraparinux was 2.9 percent at day 92, compared to a 3.0 percent incidence rate for patients who were given standard therapy. The rates of clinically relevant bleeding at day 92 were 4.5 percent in the idraparinux group and 7.0 percent in the standard-therapy group (P=0.004). At 6 months, bleeding rates were similar.

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