New oral anticoagulants: a view from the laboratory

Am J Hematol. 2012 May;87 Suppl 1:S133-6. doi: 10.1002/ajh.23139. Epub 2012 Mar 9.


The new oral anticoagulants are rapidly replacing warfarin for several indications. In contrast to warfarin, which lowers the functional levels of all of the vitamin K-dependent clotting factors, the new agents target either factor Xa or thrombin. With targeted inhibition of coagulation, the new oral anticoagulants have pharmacological, biochemical, and clinical features distinct from those of warfarin. Focusing on laboratory perspectives, this article compares and contrasts the pharmacological and biochemical properties of the new oral anticoagulants with those of warfarin and uses this information to speculate on the underlying mechanisms responsible for the clinical features that differentiate the new agents from warfarin.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Anticoagulants / pharmacokinetics
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use*
  • Blood Coagulation Factors / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Vitamin K / metabolism


  • Anticoagulants
  • Blood Coagulation Factors
  • Vitamin K