Purpose Peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) are frequently used for prolonged drug administration, but their use is commonly complicated by the development of upper extremity deep venous thrombosis (UEDVT) requiring anticoagulation. Here, we compared the efficacy and safety profile of rivaroxaban (20 mg/d) with low molecular weight (LMW) heparin and vitamin K antagonists in the treatment of PICC-associated UEDVT. Methods Patients (N = 84) with PICC-associated UEDVT were studied. All had UEDVT identified by ultrasound scanning. Further ultrasound images were obtained at 1, 2, and 3 months after the start of treatment. Forty-four patients were treated with rivaroxaban and 40 with initial LMW heparin and vitamin K antagonist with continuation of vitamin K antagonists alone once international normalized ratio was therapeutic Findings In the rivaroxaban group mean (SD) age was 51 (16) years and 57% were men, whereas in the other group respective values were 50 (16) years and 56%. All patients were receiving treatment for cancer. Resolution of thrombus had occurred in 53.5% at 1 month, 76.1% at 2 months, and 92.6% at 3 months in the rivaroxaban-treated patients. Corresponding values in the LMW heparin/vitamin antagonist–treated patients were 34.2%, 55.5%, and 88.5%, respectively. Differences between groups were significant at 1 month (P < 0.01) and 2 months (P < 0.05). There were no major bleeds in either group, and cumulative bleeding rates by 3 months were 7.3% in the rivaroxaban group and 11.4% in the LMW heparin/vitamin K antagonist group. Implications Rivaroxaban led to faster resolution of PICC-associated UEDVT than LMW/vitamin K antagonists without any increase in bleeding.
- upper limb
- vitamin K antagonists