Edoxaban vs. warfarin in vitamin K antagonist experienced and naive patients with atrial fibrillation†

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Edoxaban is an oral, once-daily factor Xa inhibitor that is non-inferior to well-managed warfarin in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) for the prevention of stroke and systemic embolic events (SEEs). We examined the efficacy and safety of edoxaban vs. warfarin in patients who were vitamin K antagonist (VKA) naive or experienced.

Methods and results

ENGAGE AF-TIMI 48 randomized 21 105 patients with AF at moderate-to-high risk of stroke to once-daily edoxaban vs. warfarin. Subjects were followed for a median of 2.8 years. The primary efficacy endpoint was stroke or SEE. As a pre-specified subgroup, we analysed outcomes for those with or without prior VKA experience (>60 consecutive days). Higher-dose edoxaban significantly reduced the risk of stroke or SEE in patients who were VKA naive [hazard ratio (HR) 0.71, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.56–0.90] and was similar to warfarin in the VKA experienced (HR 1.01, 95% CI 0.82–1.24; P interaction = 0.028). Lower-dose edoxaban was similar to warfarin for stroke or SEE prevention in patients who were VKA naive (HR 0.92, 95% CI 0.73–1.15), but was inferior to warfarin in those who were VKA experienced (HR 1.31, 95% 1.08–1.60; P interaction = 0.019). Both higher-dose and lower-dose edoxaban regimens significantly reduced the risk of major bleeding regardless of prior VKA experience (P interaction = 0.90 and 0.71, respectively).


In patients with AF, edoxaban appeared to demonstrate greater efficacy compared with warfarin in patients who were VKA naive than VKA experienced. Edoxaban significantly reduced major bleeding compared with warfarin regardless of prior VKA exposure.

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