Published online Jul 18, 2014. doi: 10.5312/wjo.v5.i3.188
Revised: March 4, 2014
Accepted: May 14, 2014
Published online: July 18, 2014
Patients undergoing total hip arthroplasty (THA) are at high risk for developing venous thromboembolism and, therefore, require short term prophylaxis with antithrombotic agents. Recently, target specific oral anticoagulants (TSOA) including the direct thrombin inhibitor, dabigatran, and the factor Xa inhibitors rivaroxaban, apixaban, and edoxaban have been approved for THA thrombopropylaxis in various countries. The TSOAs provide a rapid acting, oral alternative to parenteral agents including low-molecular weight heparins (LMWH) and fondaparinux; and compared to warfarin, they do not require routine laboratory monitoring and possess much fewer drug-drug interactions. Based on phase III clinical studies, TSOAs have established themselves as an effective and safe option for thromboprophylaxis after THA compared to LMWH, particularly enoxaparin, but require additional evaluation in specific populations such as the renally impaired or elderly. The ability to monitor and reverse these TSOAs in the case of bleeding complications or suspected sub- or supra-therapeutic anticoagulation is of importance, but remains investigational. This review will focus on the drug-specific characteristics, efficacy, safety, and economic impact of the TSOAs for thromboprophylaxis following THA, as well as the aspects of therapeutic monitoring and anticoagulation reversal in the event of bleeding complications or a need for urgent reversal.
Core tip: This review focuses on the drug-specific characteristics, efficacy, safety, and economic impact of the target specific oral anticoagulants including dabigatran, rivaroxaban, apixaban, and edoxaban for thromboprophylaxis following total hip arthroplasty, as well as the aspects of therapeutic monitoring and anticoagulation reversal in the event of bleeding complications or a need for urgent reversal.