Efficacy of rivaroxaban in prevention of post-thrombotic syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis



      Direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) have been recommended for the treatment of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). However, the benefits are uncertain for the prevention of post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS). We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of reported studies to assess the efficacy of DOACs vs vitamin K antagonists for the risk reduction of PTS in patients with DVT.


      We searched PubMed, Medline, the Cochrane Library, Embase, and the Web of Science for studies reporting on the development of PTS after acute DVT. The outcomes were the risk reduction of PTS, PTS severity, the presence of residual vein thrombosis, and the incidence of recurrent venous thromboembolic (VTE) events.


      A total of 59,199 patients from six retrospective and two randomized controlled studies had received DOAC treatment and were followed up for the development of PTS. In all studies, rivaroxaban had been compared with initial low-molecular-weight heparin followed by warfarin. Of the 59,199 patients, 19,840 (33.5%) had received rivaroxaban and 39,377 (66.5%), warfarin. The rivaroxaban group had a significant reduction in PTS development compared with the warfarin group (odds ratio [OR], 0.52; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.43-0.63; P < .001). Severe PTS was less common in the rivaroxaban group than in the warfarin group (3.7% vs 6.4%; OR, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.36-0.85; P = .024). Additionally, rivaroxaban was associated with a significant reduction in VTE recurrence (OR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.59-1.18; P = .03) and low rates of residual vein thrombosis compared with warfarin (36.5% vs 51.8%; P = .037).


      Rivaroxaban after acute DVT was associated with a reduced risk of PTS compared with warfarin. Patients treated with rivaroxaban more rarely developed severe PTS and recurrent VTE events compared with patients treated with warfarin.


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