J Am Heart Assoc. 2020 Dec;9(23):e018917. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.120.018917. Epub 2020 Nov 23.
Background In this prospective cohort study, we aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) versus heparin/vitamin K antagonists for the treatment of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in patients with inherited thrombophilia. Methods and Results We enrolled consecutive patients with acute VTE and inherited thrombophilia treated with DOACs (cases) or heparin/vitamin K antagonists (controls), matched for age, sex, ethnicity, and thrombophilia type. End points were VTE recurrence and bleeding complications; residual vein thrombosis and post-thrombotic syndrome; VTE recurrence after anticoagulant discontinuation. Two hundred fifty-five cases (age 52.4±17.3 years, Female 44.3%, severe thrombophilia 33.1%) and 322 controls (age 49.7±18.1 years, Female 50.3%, severe thrombophilia 35.1%) were included. The cumulative incidence of VTE recurrence during anticoagulation was 1.09% in cases versus 1.83%, adjusted hazard ratio (HR) 0.67 (95% CI, 0.16-2.77). The cumulative incidence of bleeding was 10.2% in cases versus 4.97%, HR 2.24 (95% CI 1.10-4.58). No major bleedings occurred in cases (versus 3 in controls). No significant differences regarding residual vein thrombosis and post-thrombotic syndrome. After anticoagulant discontinuation, DOACs yielded a significantly lower 2-year VTE recurrence risk versus traditional anticoagulants (HR, 0.61 [95% CI, 0.47-0.82]). Conclusions DOACs and heparin/vitamin K antagonists showed a similar efficacy in treating VTE in patients with thrombophilia. Although major bleeding episodes were recorded solely with heparin/vitamin K antagonists, we noted an overall increased bleeding rate with DOACs. The use of DOACs was associated with a lower 2-year risk of VTE recurrence after anticoagulant discontinuation.