Clinical experience with apixaban in atrial fibrillation: implications of AVERROES
Raffaele De Caterina
Institute of Cardiology and Center of Excellence on Aging, G d’Annunzio University, Chieti, G Monasterio Foundation, Pisa, Italy
Abstract: Atrial fibrillation is an extremely common arrhythmia, which substantially increases the risk of stroke and thromboembolism. Prevention of stroke and thromboembolism is therefore an important part of the management of atrial fibrillation. Guidelines until now have recommended that patients with atrial fibrillation receive some form of antithrombotic therapy, ie, a vitamin K antagonist or aspirin, with a preference for anticoagulants in most cases. However, current treatments are suboptimal, and despite the recommendations, many patients do not receive adequate thromboprophylaxis, because they are considered, for various reasons, “unsuitable” to receive a vitamin K antagonist. In this patient population, apixaban, a new oral anticoagulant inhibiting activated coagulation factor X, administered in fixed doses and without anticoagulation monitoring, has undergone testing against aspirin in the recently published AVERROES trial. This paper addresses the strengths and limitations of this trial and the practical relevance of the new clinical information it provides.
Keywords: atrial fibrillation, apixaban, thromboprophylaxis
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