Fondaparinux or enoxaparin for the initial treatment of symptomatic deep venous thrombosis: a randomized trial

Harry R Büller, Bruce L Davidson, Hervé Decousus, Alexander Gallus, Michael Gent, Franco Piovella, Martin H Prins, Gary Raskob, Annelise E M Segers, Roger Cariou, Oscar Leeuwenkamp, Anthonie W A Lensing
Annals of Internal Medicine 2004 June 1, 140 (11): 867-73

BACKGROUND: The current standard initial therapies for deep venous thrombosis are low-molecular-weight heparin and unfractionated heparin. In a dose-ranging study of patients with symptomatic deep venous thrombosis, fondaparinux had efficacy and a safety profile similar to those of low-molecular-weight heparin (dalteparin).

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate whether fondaparinux has efficacy and safety similar to those of enoxaparin in patients with deep venous thrombosis.

DESIGN: Randomized, double-blind study.

SETTING: 154 centers worldwide.

PATIENTS: 2205 patients with acute symptomatic deep venous thrombosis.

INTERVENTION: Fondaparinux, 7.5 mg (5.0 mg in patients weighing <50 kg and 10.0 mg in patients weighing >100 kg) subcutaneously once daily, or enoxaparin, 1 mg/kg of body weight, subcutaneously twice daily for at least 5 days and until vitamin K antagonists induced an international normalized ratio greater than 2.0.

MEASUREMENTS: The primary efficacy outcome was the 3-month incidence of symptomatic recurrent venous thromboembolic complications. The main safety outcomes were major bleeding during initial treatment and death. An independent, blinded committee adjudicated all outcomes.

RESULTS: 43 (3.9%) of 1098 patients randomly assigned to fondaparinux had recurrent thromboembolic events compared with 45 (4.1%) of 1107 patients randomly assigned to enoxaparin (absolute difference, -0.15 percentage point [95% CI, -1.8 to 1.5 percentage points]). Major bleeding occurred in 1.1% of patients receiving fondaparinux and 1.2% of patients receiving enoxaparin. Mortality rates were 3.8% and 3.0%, respectively.

LIMITATIONS: Follow-up was incomplete in 0.4% of fondaparinux-treated patients and 1.0% of enoxaparin-treated patients.

CONCLUSIONS: Once-daily subcutaneous fondaparinux was at least as effective (not inferior) and safe as twice-daily, body weight-adjusted enoxaparin in the initial treatment of patients with symptomatic deep venous thrombosis.

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