Published online Feb 6, 2015. doi: 10.5315/wjh.v4.i1.1
Peer-review started: October 24, 2014
First decision: November 3, 2014
Revised: December 1, 2014
Accepted: December 16, 2014
Article in press: December 17, 2014
Published online: February 6, 2015
Core tip: Novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs) are emerging as viable alternatives to Vitamin K antagonist (VKA) in the treatment of venous thromboembolism. Trials have shown that they are as efficacious as current standard treatment with low-molecular-weight heparin followed by VKA, and have potentially less bleeding associated with them. The regimes are simple and no monitoring is required and therefore it has the potential to reduce the burden of anticoagulation. Caution is required however, as testing of anticoagulant effect is limited and patient selection is important as many of the NOACs are metabolized in the liver and cleared by the kidney.