DOACs and rheumatic valvulopathy: always a red light?

Link to article at PubMed

Eur Heart J Suppl. 2023 Apr 21;25(Suppl B):B41-B45. doi: 10.1093/eurheartjsupp/suad065. eCollection 2023 Apr.


Despite the sharp decline in most high-income industrialized countries, rheumatic heart disease (RHD) continues to be highly prevalent in many rural, low- and middle-income countries. RHD most frequently involves the mitral valve, both in the form of isolated regurgitation and in the form of regurgitation associated with mitral stenosis (mitral stenosis, MS). Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common complication of RHD that is independently associated with an increased risk of death, heart failure, and systemic thromboembolism. Few studies have focused on the issue of the best oral anticoagulation strategy for patients with RHD and AF. Randomized trials establishing the non-inferiority of new direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) over vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) in the prevention of stroke and systemic embolism excluded AF patients with mechanical valves or with moderate-to-severe MS. Nevertheless, variable proportions of patients with other VHD types were included. Recently, the INVICTUS trial demonstrated that in patients with RHD-related AF, direct oral anticoagulant rivaroxaban is inferior to VKAs in preventing stroke, systemic embolism, myocardial infarction, or death and is similar in bleeding risk. These results confirm and reinforce the recommendations of current international guidelines supporting the use of VKAs in patients with RHD-related AF.

PMID:37091632 | PMC:PMC10120996 | DOI:10.1093/eurheartjsupp/suad065

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