Advances in Therapy and the Management of Antithrombotic Drugs for Venous Thromboembolism Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • This review focuses on antithrombotic therapy for venous thromboembolism and covers a diverse range of topics including a discussion of emerging anticoagulant drugs, a renewed focus on thrombolytic agents for selected patients, and an analysis of the factors leading to adverse events in patients on warfarin, and how to optimize therapy. In Section I Dr. Weitz discusses new anticoagulant drugs focusing on those that are in the advanced stages of development. These will include drugs that (a) target factor VIIa/tissue factor, including tissue factor pathway inhibitor and NAPc2; (b) block factor Xa, including the synthetic pentasaccharide and DX9065a; (c) inhibit factors Va and VIIIa, i.e., activated protein C; and (d) block thrombin, including hirudin, argatroban, bivalirudin and H376/95. Oral formulations of heparin will also be reviewed. In Section II, Dr. Comerota will discuss the use of thrombolysis for selected patients with venous thromboembolism. Fibrinolytic therapy, which has suffered from a high risk/benefit ratio for routine deep venous thrombosis, may have an important role to play in patients with iliofemoral venous thrombosis. Dr. Comerota presents his own results with catheter-directed thrombolytic therapy and the results from a large national registry showing long-term outcomes and the impact on quality of life. In Section III, Dr. Ansell presents a critical analysis of the factors responsible for adverse events with oral anticoagulants and the optimum means of improving outcomes. The poor status of present day anticoagulant management is reviewed and the importance of achieving a high rate of "time in therapeutic range," is emphasized. Models of care to optimize outcomes are described, with an emphasis on models that utilize patient self-testing and patient self-management of oral anticoagulation which are considered to be the ultimate in anticoagulation care. The treatment of venous and arterial thromboembolism is undergoing rapid change with respect to the development of new antithrombotic agents, an expanding list of new indications, and new methods of drug delivery and management. In spite of these changes, many of the traditional therapeutics are still with us and continue to play a vital role in the treatment of thromboembolic disease. The following discussion touches on a wide range of therapeutic interventions, from old to new, exploring the status of anticoagulant drug development, describing a new intervention for iliofemoral venous thrombosis, and analyzing the critical factors for safe and effective therapy with oral anticoagulants.

publication date

  • January 1, 2000