A randomized clinical trial of high-intensity warfarin vs. conventional antithrombotic therapy for the prevention of recurrent thrombosis in patients with the antiphospholipid syndrome (WAPS)

G. Finazzi, V. Brancaccio, P. Schinco, F. Wisloff, J. Musial, F. Baudo, M. Berrettini, S. Testa, A. D'Angelo, G. Tognoni, T. Barbui, Roberto Marchioli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The optimal intensity of oral anti-coagulation for the prevention of recurrent thrombosis in patients with antiphospholipid antibody syndrome is uncertain. Retrospective studies show that only high-intensity oral anticoagulation [target international normalized ratio (INR) > 3.0] is effective but a recent randomized clinical trial comparing high (INR range 3.0-4.0) vs. moderate (INR 2.0-3.0) intensities of anticoagulation failed to confirm this assumption. Methods: We conducted a randomized trial in which 109 patients with antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) and previous thrombosis were given either high-intensity warfarin (INR range 3.0-4.5, 54 patients) or standard antithrombotic therapy (warfarin, INR range 2.0-3.0 in 52 patients or aspirin alone, 100 mg day-1 in three patients) to determine whether intensive anticoagulation is superior to standard treatment in preventing symptomatic thromboembolism without increasing the bleeding risk. Results: The 109 patients enrolled in the trial were followed up for a median time of 3.6 years. Mean INR during follow-up was 3.2 (SD 0.6) in the high-intensity warfarin group and 2.5 (SD 0.3) (P <0.0001) in the conventional treatment patients given warfarin. Recurrent thrombosis was observed in six of 54 patients (11.1%) assigned to receive high-intensity warfarin and in three of 55 patients (5.5%) assigned to receive conventional treatment [hazard ratio for the high intensity group, 1.97; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.49-7.89]. Major and minor bleeding occurred in 15 patients (two major) (27.8%) assigned to receive high-intensity warfarin and eight (three major) (14.6%) assigned to receive conventional treatment (hazard ratio 2.18; 95% CI 0.92-5.15). Conclusions: High-intensity warfarin was not superior to standard treatment in preventing recurrent thrombosis in patients with APS and was associated with an increased rate of minor hemorrhagic complications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)848-853
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis
Volume3
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2005

Keywords

  • Antiphospholipid syndrome
  • Oral anticoagulation
  • Thrombosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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