Cardiovasc Drugs Ther. 2023 May 25. doi: 10.1007/s10557-023-07470-z. Online ahead of print.
PURPOSE: The efficacy of factor Xa inhibitors in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) and rheumatic heart disease (RHD) is unknown.
METHODS/RESULTS: The objective of this article was to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the INVICTUS trial, an open-label randomized controlled study that compared vitamin K antagonists (VKA) to rivaroxaban in patients with AF and RHD while also considering the existing evidence from literature in this particular area of research.
CONCLUSION: The findings of the INVICTUS trial indicated that rivaroxaban was found to be inferior in efficacy to VKA. However, it is important to note that the primary outcome of the trial was driven by sudden death and death caused by mechanical pump failure. As a result, it is necessary to approach the data from this study with caution, and it would be inappropriate to draw parallel conclusions for other causes of valvular AF. Particularly, the perplexing issue of how rivaroxaban could have contributed to both pump failure and sudden cardiac death requires further explanation. Additional data regarding changes in heart failure medication and ventricular function would be essential for proper interpretation.