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Cardiovasc Res. 2011 Oct 1;92(1):159-68. doi: 10.1093/cvr/cvr168. Epub 2011 Jun 15.

A role for coagulation factor Xa in experimental pulmonary arterial hypertension.

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  • 1Cardiology Research, Bayer HealthCare, Wuppertal, Germany.



Anticoagulation with warfarin is recommended for the treatment of patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). However, the therapeutic benefit of anticoagulation has not yet been demonstrated experimentally or clinically. Here, rivaroxaban, an oral, direct factor Xa (FXa) inhibitor, was compared with warfarin and enoxaparin in the prevention of right ventricular (RV) dysfunction and hypertrophy in the monocrotaline (MCT) model of pulmonary hypertension.


Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 10 per group) were randomized to receive rivaroxaban, warfarin, enoxaparin, or placebo before receiving a subcutaneous injection of MCT 60 mg/kg or saline. Rivaroxaban and enoxaparin were administered for 28 days starting 4 h before MCT injection; warfarin was given for 35 days initiated 7 days before MCT injection. RV haemodynamics and hypertrophy were assessed 28 days after MCT administration. Rivaroxaban dose-dependently reduced systolic and end-diastolic RV pressure increase and RV hypertrophy. Warfarin reduced RV pressure increase only. Enoxaparin had no effect on either parameter. Severe bleeding occurred in four and five rats treated with warfarin and enoxaparin, respectively, whereas no overt bleeding was observed in rats treated with rivaroxaban.


Selective, direct inhibition of FXa by rivaroxaban effectively prevented RV dysfunction and hypertrophy in MCT-injected rats, indicating a role for coagulation factors in experimental pulmonary hypertension. Clinical investigation of the impact of early and continued administration of a specific FXa inhibitor such as rivaroxaban on the course of PAH should be considered.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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