Early switch from heparin to dabigatran effective and safe for acute intermediate-risk PE: Lancet
An early switch from heparin to dabigatran for acute intermediate-risk pulmonary embolism (PE) is both effective and safe, suggests a study published in The Lancet: Haematology.
Current guidelines recommend a risk-adjusted treatment strategy for the management of acute pulmonary embolism. This is a particular patient category for whom optimal treatment (anticoagulant treatment, reperfusion strategies, and duration of hospitalisation) is currently unknown.
A group of researchers from Germany conducted a study to investigate whether treatment of acute intermediate-risk pulmonary embolism with parenteral anticoagulation for a short period of 72 h, followed by a switch to a direct oral anticoagulant (dabigatran), is effective and safe.
The researchers did a multinational, multicentre, single-arm, phase 4 trial at 42 hospitals in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Romania, Slovenia, and Spain. Adult patients (aged ≥18 years) with symptomatic intermediate-risk pulmonary embolism, with or without deep-vein thrombosis were enrolled. Patients received parenteral low-molecular-weight or unfractionated heparin for 72 h after diagnosis of pulmonary embolism before switching to oral dabigatran 150 mg twice per day following a standard clinical assessment. The primary outcome was recurrent symptomatic venous thromboembolism or pulmonary embolism-related death within 6 months. The primary and safety outcomes were assessed in the intention-to-treat population.
The results of the study are as follows:
· Between Jan 1, 2016, and July 31, 2019, 1418 patients with pulmonary embolism were screened, of whom 402 were enrolled and were included in the intention-to-treat analysis.
· Median follow-up was 217 days and 370 (92%) patients adhered to the protocol.
· The primary outcome occurred in seven patients, with all events occurring in those with intermediate-high-risk pulmonary embolism.
· At 6 months, 11 had at least one clinically relevant non-major bleeding event; the only fatal haemorrhage occurred in one (<1%) patient before the switch to dabigatran.
Thus, the researchers concluded that a strategy of early switch from heparin to dabigatran following standard clinical assessment was effective and safe in patients with intermediate-risk pulmonary embolism.
The researchers feel that their results can help to refine guideline recommendations for the initial treatment of acute intermediate-risk pulmonary embolism, optimising the use of resources and avoiding extended hospitalisation.
Early switch to oral anticoagulation in patients with acute intermediate-risk pulmonary embolism (PEITHO-2): a multinational, multicentre, single-arm, phase 4 trial by Klok F et. al published in The Lancet: Haematology
DOI: https: //doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3026 (21)00203-9