Clinical characteristics and outcomes with rivaroxaban vs. warfarin in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation but underlying native mitral and aortic valve disease participating in the ROCKET AF trial

Eur Heart J. 2014 Dec 14;35(47):3377-85. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehu305. Epub 2014 Aug 22.


Aims: We investigated clinical characteristics and outcomes of patients with significant valvular disease (SVD) in the Rivaroxaban Once Daily Oral Direct Factor Xa Inhibition Compared with Vitamin K Antagonism for Prevention of Stroke and Embolism Trial in Atrial Fibrillation (ROCKET AF) trial.

Methods and results: ROCKET AF excluded patients with mitral stenosis or artificial valve prostheses. We used Cox regression to adjust comparisons for potential confounders. Among 14 171 patients, 2003 (14.1%) had SVD; they were older and had more comorbidities than patients without SVD. The rate of stroke or systemic embolism with rivaroxaban vs. warfarin was consistent among patients with SVD [2.01 vs. 2.43%; hazard ratio (HR) 0.83, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.55-1.27] and without SVD (1.96 vs. 2.22%; HR 0.89, 95% CI 0.75-1.07; interaction P = 0.76). However, rates of major and non-major clinically relevant bleeding with rivaroxaban vs. warfarin were higher in patients with SVD (19.8% rivaroxaban vs. 16.8% warfarin; HR 1.25, 95% CI 1.05-1.49) vs. those without (14.2% rivaroxaban vs. 14.1% warfarin; HR 1.01, 95% CI 0.94-1.10; interaction P = 0.034), even when controlling for risk factors and potential confounders. In intracranial haemorrhage, there was no interaction between patients with and without SVD where the overall rate was lower among those randomized to rivaroxaban.

Conclusions: Many patients with 'non-valvular atrial fibrillation' have significant valve lesions. Their risk of stroke is similar to that of patients without SVD after controlling for stroke risk factors. Efficacy of rivaroxaban vs. warfarin was similar in patients with and without SVD; however, the observed risk of bleeding was higher with rivaroxaban in patients with SVD but was the same among those without SVD. Atrial fibrillation patients with and without SVD experience the same stroke-preventive benefit of oral anticoagulants.

Keywords: Anticoagulants; Fibrillation; Heart diseases; Regurgitation; Stenosis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use*
  • Aortic Valve Insufficiency / complications*
  • Aortic Valve Insufficiency / mortality
  • Atrial Fibrillation / complications
  • Atrial Fibrillation / drug therapy*
  • Atrial Fibrillation / mortality
  • Factor Xa Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Hemorrhage / chemically induced
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mitral Valve Insufficiency / complications*
  • Mitral Valve Insufficiency / mortality
  • Morpholines / therapeutic use*
  • Rivaroxaban
  • Stroke / etiology
  • Stroke / mortality
  • Stroke / prevention & control
  • Thiophenes / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Warfarin / therapeutic use*


  • Anticoagulants
  • Factor Xa Inhibitors
  • Morpholines
  • Thiophenes
  • Warfarin
  • Rivaroxaban