Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research®: June 2019 - Volume 477 - Issue 6 - p 1335–1343 doi: 10.1097/CORR.0000000000000714 SELECTED PROCEEDINGS FROM THE 7TH INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS OF ARTHROPLASTY REGISTRIES

Postoperative Thromboprophylaxis With New Oral Anticoagulants is Superior to LMWH in Hip Arthroplasty Surgery: Findings from the Swedish Registry

Kasina, Piotr, MD, PhD; Wall, Alexander, MS; Lapidus, Lasse J., MD, PhD; Rolfson, Ola, MD, PhD; Kärrholm, Johan, MD, PhD; Nemes, Szilard, PhD; Eriksson, Bengt I., MD, PhD; Mohaddes, Maziar, MD, PhD

Background Although the use of thromboprophylaxis is well established, there is no consensus on the preferred thromboprophylaxis regimen after THA; large, population-based studies offer an opportunity to examine this problem in a robust way that can complement results from randomized trials.


Questions/purposes Using data from a large national registry, we asked: (1) Is there any difference between low-molecular weight heparin (LMWH) and new oral anticoagulants in preventing symptomatic deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE), after THA? (2) Are there any differences in safety parameters, such as bleeding, reoperations and mortality, between LMWH and new oral anticoagulants?


Methods Between 2008 and 2012, 78,066 THAs were performed in Sweden. This study evaluated 32,663 (42%) of them, selected through the merger of several national registries. These patients underwent unilateral THA due to primary osteoarthritis. They had not experienced any venous thromboembolic events 5 years before the index operation and were not prescribed potent antithrombotic agents, of any type, in the 6 months before the index operation. Additionally, their postoperative thromboprophylaxis was confirmed in a national registry by purchase of prescribed medications. We divided the cohort into two groups: those patients who received new oral anticoagulants (5752, 18%) and those who received LMWH (26,881, 82%) as postoperative thromboprophylaxis. Our primary endpoints were the frequencies of symptomatic DVT and symptomatic PE within 3 months of surgery. Our secondary comparison was a between-group comparison of bleeding (by way of diagnostic coding), reoperation, and mortality within 3 months of surgery. Odds ratios (OR) are presented with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) as pooled results for the two groups after adjustment for duration of thromboprophylaxis (short or extended for at least 28 days), year of the index operation, Elixhauser comorbidity index, sex, age and previous treatment with platelet aggregation inhibitors.


Results The risk of symptomatic DVT was lower in the group that received new oral anticoagulants than the group that received LMWH (0.3% versus 0.6%, OR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.27–0.76; p = 0.026). The risk of symptomatic PE was lower in the group that received new oral anticoagulants than the group that received LMWH (0.1% versus 0.4%, OR, 0.36; 95% CI, 0.16–0.69; p = 0.005). There was no difference in the risk of bleeding (by way of diagnostic coding) (OR, 1.03; 95% CI, 0.82–1.28; p = 0.688), reoperation (OR, 1.02; 95% CI, 0.71–1.44; p = 0.860) or mortality (OR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.31–1.88; p = 0.883) between groups.


Conclusions New oral anticoagulants were associated with a lower risk of symptomatic DVT and symptomatic PE in this large, registry study, and we observed no differences in the risk of bleeding, reoperation, or death between the groups. Although we were able to control for a number of potential confounding variables, we cannot ascertain the indications that drove the prescription decisions in this setting, and there were important between-group differences in terms of duration of thromboprophylaxis (new oral anticoagulants generally were used for a longer period of time after surgery). Future studies, preferably large randomized trials with pragmatic inclusion criteria, to analyze symptomatic DVT, symptomatic PE and death are needed to confirm or refute our findings.


Level of Evidence Level III, therapeutic study.

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