Reduced anticoagulation after mechanical aortic valve replacement: interim results from the prospective randomized on-X valve anticoagulation clinical trial randomized Food and Drug Administration investigational device exemption trial

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2014 Apr;147(4):1202-1210; discussion 1210-1. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2014.01.004. Epub 2014 Jan 12.


Objective: Under Food and Drug Administration investigational device exemption, the Prospective Randomized On-X Anticoagulation Clinical Trial (PROACT) has been testing the safety of less aggressive anticoagulation than recommended by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association guidelines after implantation of an approved bileaflet mechanical valve.

Methods: In this first limb of the PROACT, patients with elevated risk factors for thromboembolism were randomized at 33 US centers to receive lower dose warfarin (test international normalized ratio [INR], 1.5-2.0) or continue standard warfarin (control INR, 2.0-3.0), 3 months after mechanical aortic valve replacement. The INR was adjusted by home monitoring; all patients received 81 mg aspirin daily. Adverse events were independently adjudicated.

Results: A total of 375 aortic valve replacement patients were randomized into control (n = 190) and test (n = 185) groups from September 2006 to December 2009. The mean age ± standard deviation was 55.2 ± 12.5 years; 79% were men; and 93% were in sinus rhythm preoperatively. Calcific degeneration was present in 67%; active endocarditis was excluded. Concomitant procedures included coronary artery bypass grafting (27%), aortic aneurysm repair (14%), and other (25%). The follow-up duration averaged 3.82 years (755.7 patient-years [pt-yrs] for control; 675.2 pt-yrs for test). The mean INR was 2.50 ± 0.63 for the control and 1.89 ± 0.49 for the test groups (P < .0001). The test group experienced significantly lower major (1.48% vs 3.26%/pt-yr; P = .047) and minor (1.32% vs 3.41%/pt-yr; P = .021) bleeding rates. The incidence of stroke, transient ischemic attack, total neurologic events, and all-cause mortality were similar between the 2 groups.

Conclusions: INR can be safely maintained between 1.5 and 2.0 after aortic valve replacement with this approved bileaflet mechanical prosthesis. With low-dose aspirin, this resulted in a significantly lower risk of bleeding, without a significant increase in thromboembolism.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anticoagulants / administration & dosage*
  • Aortic Valve / surgery*
  • Aspirin / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Heart Valve Prosthesis / adverse effects*
  • Heart Valve Prosthesis Implantation*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Thromboembolism / etiology*
  • Thromboembolism / prevention & control*
  • United States
  • United States Food and Drug Administration
  • Warfarin / administration & dosage*


  • Anticoagulants
  • Warfarin
  • Aspirin