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Combination of aspirin and rosuvastatin for reduction of venous thromboembolism in severely injured patients: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, pragmatic randomized phase II clinical trial (The STAT Trial).

INTRODUCTION: Venous thromboembolism (VTE) remains a significant source of postinjury morbidity and mortality. Beta-hydroxy beta-methylglutaryl-CoA (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors (rosuvastatin) significantly reduced pathologic clotting events in healthy populations in a prior trial. Furthermore, acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) has been shown to be noninferior to prophylactic heparinoids for VTE prevention following orthopedic surgery. We hypothesized that a combination of rosuvastatin/ASA, in addition to standard VTE chemoprophylaxis, would reduce VTE in critically ill trauma patients.

METHODS: This was a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial, evaluating VTE rates in two groups: ASA + statin (Experimental) and identical placebos (Control). Injured adults, 18-65 years old, admitted to the surgical intensive care unit without contraindications for VTE prophylaxis were eligible. Upon initiation of routine VTE chemoprophylaxis (i.e. heparin/heparin-derivatives), they were randomized to the Experimental or Control group. VTE was the primary outcome.

RESULTS: Of 112 potentially eligible patients, 33% (n = 37, median new injury severity scale = 27) were successfully randomized, of whom 11% had VTEs. The Experimental group had no VTEs, while the Control group had 6 VTEs (4 PEs and 2 DVTs) in 4 (22%) patients (P = 0.046). The Experimental treatment was not associated with any serious adverse events. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the study was interrupted at the second interim analysis at <10% of the planned enrollment, with significance declared at P < 0.012 at that stage.

DISCUSSION: The combination of ASA and rosuvastatin with standard VTE prophylaxis showed a favorable trend toward reducing VTEs with no serious adverse events. An appropriately powered phase III multicenter trial is needed to further investigate this therapeutic approach.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level II, Therapeutic.

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