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J Arthroplasty. 2009 Jan;24(1):1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.arth.2008.01.132. Epub 2008 Apr 14.

Oral thrombin inhibitor dabigatran etexilate vs North American enoxaparin regimen for prevention of venous thromboembolism after knee arthroplasty surgery.

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McMaster University Medical Centre, Ontario, Canada.


Dabigatran, an oral once-daily unmonitored thrombin inhibitor, has been tested elsewhere using enoxaparin 40 mg once daily. We used the North American enoxaparin 30 mg BID regimen as the comparator. This was a double-blind, centrally randomized trial. Unilateral total knee arthroplasty patients were randomized to receive oral dabigatran etexilate 220 or 150 mg once daily, or enoxaparin 30 mg SC BID after surgery, blinded. Dosing stopped at contrast venography, 12 to 15 days after surgery. Among 1896 patients, dabigatran 220 and 110 mg showed inferior efficacy to enoxaparin (venous thromboembolism rates of 31% [P = .02 vs enoxaparin], 34% [P < .001 vs enoxaparin], and 25%, respectively). Bleeding rates were similar, and no drug-related hepatic illness was recognized. Dabigatran, effective compared to once-daily enoxaparin, showed inferior efficacy to the twice-daily North American enoxaparin regimen, probably because of the latter's more intense and prolonged dosing.

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