Rationale and design of a clinical trial of a low-molecular-weight heparin in preventing clinically important venous thromboembolism in medical patients: the prospective evaluation of dalteparin efficacy for prevention of venous thromboembolism in immobilized patients trial (the PREVENT study)

Paul T Vaitkus, A Leizorovicz, S Z Goldhaber
Vascular Medicine 2002, 7 (4): 269-73
The utility of low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) in the prophylaxis of venous thromboembolic disease has been examined using the surrogate endpoint of venographically identified thrombi. The largest portion of these thrombi were asymptomatic calf-vein thrombi. The clinical relevance of this observation is a matter of debate. The present study is designed to evaluate the impact of an LMWH on clinically important endpoints. The current study is a randomized, prospective, double-blinded, multicenter, multinational, controlled clinical trial comparing dalteparin with placebo in moderately high-risk hospitalized medical patients. A total of 3300 patients will be randomized to receive either 5,000 IU per day of dalteparin or placebo for 14 days. Patients will undergo appropriate evaluation for any symptomatic episodes and all patients will undergo a bilateral compression ultrasound (CUS) on day 21 to search for asymptomatic proximal thrombi. The primary endpoint is the combination of objectively confirmed symptomatic deep vein thrombi (DVT), fatal or non-fatal pulmonary emboli, all proximal DVT, and sudden death. This study will be the first study to examine clinically important endpoints in evaluating the effect of a LMWH in hospitalized medical patients. This study also is the first study to use CUS rather than venography in concordance with contemporary medical practice. This trial is thus designed to address this important question in a clinically relevant manner.

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