The Journal of Arthroplasty , Volume 34 , Issue 4 , 789 - 800.e6

Factor Xa Inhibitors and Direct Thrombin Inhibitors Versus Low-Molecular-Weight Heparin for Thromboprophylaxis After Total Hip or Total Knee Arthroplasty: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Sun, Guangwei et al.
Hip Knee


The purpose of this study is to perform a meta-analysis to compare outcomes of venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis with low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) vs other anticoagulants in patients who received total knee (TKA) or total hip arthroplasty (THA).


MEDLINE, Cochrane, EMBASE, and Google Scholar databases were searched until June 30, 2017 for eligible randomized controlled studies.


Thirty-two randomized controlled studies were included. LMWH provided better protection against VTE than placebo. In both TKA and THA patients, the rates of VTE were lower with factor Xa inhibitors than LMWH. In THA patients, the rate of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) was lower with factor Xa inhibitors than LMWH. In TKA patients, the rates of VTE and DVT were similar between LMWH and direct thrombin inhibitors. In THA patients, the rate of VTE was lower with direct thrombin inhibitors than with LMWH, while the DVT rates were similar. The pulmonary embolism rates were similar between all 3 classes of drugs in TKA and THR patients, as were the major bleeding rates. Nonmajor and minor bleeding rates were also similar between the 3 drug classes.


LMWH is associated with a higher rate of VTE than factor Xa inhibitors in TKA and THA patients. Direct thrombin inhibitors are associated with a lower rate of VTE in THA patients, but their effectiveness with respect to DVT and pulmonary embolism prophylaxis is similar to that of LMWH in TKA and THA patients.

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