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Novel anticoagulants (including the direct thrombin inhibitor dabigatran etixilate) and oral factor Xa inhibitors have similar or superior efficacy and safety to warfarin for reducing thromboembolic stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation, and for prevention of deep venous thrombosis. Eikelboom and colleagues set out to examine whether these novel anticoagulants could be used as an alternative to warfarin in patients with mechanical heart valves.
RE-ALIGN was a randomised, open-label phase 2 trial with blinded adjudication of endpoints. Patients who had undergone aortic or mitral …
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