• The primary outcome, stroke, occurred in 6 of 23 patients randomized to apixaban compared with 0 of 25 patients randomized to warfarin.

  • This study with limitations suggests that apixaban is not an equitable substitute for warfarin to prevent thrombosis among TAPS patients.

Thrombotic antiphospholipid syndrome (TAPS) is characterized by venous, arterial, or microvascular thrombosis. Patients with TAPS merit indefinite anticoagulation and warfarin has historically been the standard treatment. Apixaban is an oral factor Xa inhibitor anticoagulant that requires no dose adjustment or monitoring. The efficacy and safety of apixaban compared with warfarin for TAPS patients remain unknown. This multicenter prospective randomized open-label blinded endpoint study assigned anticoagulated TAPS patients to apixaban or warfarin (target INR 2-3) for 12 months. The primary efficacy outcome was clinically overt thrombosis and vascular death. Apixaban was first given at 2.5 mg twice daily. Two protocol changes were instituted based on recommendations from the data safety monitoring board. After the 25th patient was randomized, the apixaban dose was increased to 5mg twice daily, and after the 30th patient was randomized, subjects with prior arterial thrombosis were excluded. Primary outcomes were adjudicated by independent experts blinded to treatment allocation. Patients randomized between 23 February 2015 and 7 March 2019 to apixaban (n=23) or warfarin (n=25) were similar. Among the components of the primary efficacy outcome, only stroke occurred in 6 of 23 patients randomized to apixaban compared with 0 of 25 patients randomized to warfarin. The study ended prematurely after the 48th patient was enrolled. Conclusions from our study are limited due to protocol modifications and low patient accrual. Despite these limitations, our results suggest that apixaban may not be routinely substituted for warfarin to prevent recurrent thrombosis (and especially stokes) among patients with TAPS (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT02295475).

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