Blood clots are killers - study

A Berlin report says blood clots obstructing blood flow in deep veins or in the lungs, kill one person every 37 seconds in the West.

Data about a clinical trial programme published in theThrombosis Journal  underline that single-drug therapy with with Bayer HealthCare's novel oral anticoagulant Xarelto(R) (rivaroxaban) is effective in both the treatment and subsequent prevention of recurrent deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE), with an overall comparable safety to the traditional dual-drug therapy.

In addition, compared to the traditional dual-drug approach of injectable low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) followed by a vitamin K antagonist (VKA), Xarelto significantly reduced the rate of major bleeding events by 46%, including the risk of fatal bleeding, whilst offering an improved benefit-risk profile regardless of patient age, frailty, gender, weight or renal function.

Pooled data of over 8 000 patients reaffirm the improved benefit-risk profile of Xarelto as an effective single-drug solution compared with the traditional dual-drug therapy.


A member of the steering committee, Dr Alexander T Cohen of King's College Hospital in London, said: "The publication of these impressive data further highlights the potential of this drug to change current clinical practice in both the treatment of initial acute DVT and PE, as well as the prevention of recurrent DVT and PE.

 "The unique single-drug therapy of rivaroxaban has the potential to not only improve clinical outcomes, but also reduce the overall burden of anti-coagulation therapy by providing continuous patient management from hospital to home while avoiding the need for injections or routine coagulation monitoring."

Another study confirmed that Xarelto also improved treatment satisfaction compared with traditional dual-drug therapy.

The data also indicate improved adherence and persistence with Xarelto in long-term prevention of recurrent venous blood clots compared with VKAs such as warfarin.

These findings complement an analysis of patient-reported satisfaction in the Berlin study and indicate an important adherence and persistence benefit with Xarelto in both acute treatment and long-term prevention regardless of the type of venous blood clot experienced.

"These analyses add to the large amount of clinical data and real-life experience supporting Xarelto in the management of both venous and arterial blood clots, providing further reassurance regarding the clinical use of Xarelto across a broad range of clinical settings," said Dr Kemal Malik, a member of the Bayer HealthCare executive committee and the head of global development.

More about Venous Arterial Thrombo-embolism (VAT):

Thrombosis is the formation of a blood clot inside a blood vessel, blocking a vein (venous thrombosis) or artery (arterial thrombosis). Venous arterial thrombo-embolism is caused when some or all of a clot detaches and is moved within the blood stream until it obstructs a smaller vessel. This can result in damage to vital organs, because the tissue beyond the blockage no longer receives nutrients and oxygen.

Arterial Thrombo-embolism (responsible for a number of serious and life threatening conditions:)

 *   Venous thrombo-embolism (VTE) occurs when part of a clot formed in a deep vein, e.g. in the leg (known as deep vein thrombosis, or DVT), is carried to the lung, via the heart, preventing the uptake of oxygen. This is known as a pulmonary embolism (PE), an event which can be rapidly fatal.

*   Arterial thrombo-embolism occurs when oxygenated blood flow from the heart to another part of the body (via an artery) is interrupted by a blood clot. If this occurs in a vessel supplying blood to the brain, it can lead to a stroke, an event that can be severely debilitating or fatal. If it occurs in a coronary artery, it can lead to acute coronary syndrome (ACS), a complication of coronary heart disease which includes conditions such as myocardial infarction and unstable angina.

Arterial thrombo-embolism is responsible for significant morbidity and mortality, and requires active or preventative treatment to avoid potentially serious or fatal patient outcomes.

To learn more about VAT, please visit

To learn more about thrombosis, please visit

To learn more about Xarelto, please visit

Photo:  Venous blood clots from Shutterstock

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