Background and aim: Anticoagulation therapy is the main line of treatment for acute portal vein thrombosis (PVT) in the absence of cirrhosis. However, the use of this therapy in cirrhotic PVT is still with doubtful evidence. We aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of rivaroxaban compared to warfarin for the management of acute non-neoplastic PVT in Hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related compensated cirrhosis.
Methods: Out of 578 patients with chronic HCV infection, 80 patients with acute PVT who had undergone splenectomy due to hypersplenism and 4 patients with acute PVT due to portal pyemia were selected. The patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to the study group (n = 40), in which the patients received rivaroxaban 10 mg/12 h, or the control group (n = 40), in which the patients received warfarin.
Results: In the rivaroxaban group, the resolution of PVT was achieved in 34 patients (85%) within 2.6 ± 0.4 months and delayed, partial recanalization after 6.7 ± 1.2 months (n = 6.15%). Complications such as major bleeding, abnormal liver functions, death, or recurrence did not occur during treatment, and patients in this group showed improved short-term survival rate (20.4 ± 2.2 months) compared to the survival rate in the control group (10.6 ± 1.8 months) in which warfarin achieved complete resolution in 45% of patients. Complications such as severe upper GI tract bleeding (43.3%), hepatic decompensation (22.5%), progression to mesenteric ischemia (12.5%), recurrence (10%), and death (20%) were observed in the control group. The duration until complete resolution of thrombus correlated with age, the extent of the thrombus, creatinine level, and MELD score. The recurrence after complete resolution of thrombus correlated with age, the extent of the thrombus, thrombogenic gene polymorphism, and the use of warfarin.
Conclusion: Rivaroxaban was effective and safe in acute HCV-related non-neoplastic PVT with improved short-term survival rate; ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03201367.
Keywords: Acute; Portal vein; Rivaroxaban; Thrombosis.
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