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Advances in Hematology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 856341, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/856341
Review Article

Current Status of New Anticoagulants in the Management of Venous Thromboembolism

Division of Hematology-Oncology, Department of Medicine, SUNY Upstate Medical University, 750 E Adams St., Syracuse, NY 13210, USA

Received 8 September 2011; Revised 10 November 2011; Accepted 28 November 2011

Academic Editor: Elvira Grandone

Copyright © 2012 Roberto C. Montoya and Ajeet Gajra. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Venous Thromboembolism, manifested as deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, is a common problem associated with significant morbidity, mortality, and resource expenditure. Unfractionated heparin, low-molecular-weight heparin, and vitamin K antagonists are the most common treatment and prophylaxis, and have demonstrated their efficacy in a vast number of previous studies. Despite their broad use, these agents have important limitations that have led to the development of new drugs in a bid to overcome the disadvantages of the old ones without decreasing their therapeutic effect. These novel medications, some approved and others in different stages of development, include direct thrombin inhibitors like dabigatran etexilate, and direct activated factor X inhibitors like rivaroxaban. The current paper will review the characteristics, clinical trial results, and current and potential therapeutic uses of these new agents with a focus on the categories of direct thrombin inhibitors and activated factor X inhibitors.