Extended Venous Thromboembolism Prophylaxis in Medically Ill Patients: An NATF Anticoagulation Action Initiative

Am J Med. 2020 May:133 Suppl 1:1-27. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2019.12.001.


Hospitalized patients with acute medical illnesses are at risk for venous thromboembolism (VTE) during and after a hospital stay. Risk factors include physical immobilization and underlying pathophysiologic processes that activate the coagulation pathway and are still present after discharge. Strategies for optimal pharmacologic VTE thromboprophylaxis are evolving, and recommendations for VTE prophylaxis can be further refined to protect high-risk patients after hospital discharge. An early study of extended VTE prophylaxis with a parenteral agent in medically ill patients yielded inconclusive results with regard to efficacy and bleeding. In the Acute Medically Ill VTE Prevention with Extended Duration Betrixaban (APEX) trial, extended use of betrixaban halved symptomatic VTE, decreased hospital readmission, and reduced stroke and major adverse cardiovascular events compared with standard enoxaparin prophylaxis. Based on findings from APEX, the Food and Drug Administration approved betrixaban in 2017 for extended VTE prophylaxis in acute medically ill patients. In the Reducing Post-Discharge Venous Thrombo-Embolism Risk (MARINER) study, extended use of rivaroxaban halved symptomatic VTE in high-risk medical patients compared with placebo. In 2019, rivaroxaban was approved for extended thromboprophylaxis in high-risk medical patients, thus making available a new strategy for in-hospital and post-discharge VTE prevention. To address the critical unmet need for VTE prophylaxis in medically ill patients at the time of hospital discharge, the North American Thrombosis Forum (NATF) is launching the Anticoagulation Action Initiative, a comprehensive consensus document that provides practical guidance and straightforward, patient-centered recommendations for VTE prevention during hospitalization and after discharge.

Keywords: Acute Medical illness; Extended prophylaxis; Hospitalized patients; Thromboprophylaxis; Venous thromboembolism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use*
  • Benzamides / therapeutic use
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Medication Adherence
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Discharge
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Pyrazoles / therapeutic use
  • Pyridines / therapeutic use
  • Pyridones / therapeutic use
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Rivaroxaban / therapeutic use
  • Venous Thromboembolism / etiology
  • Venous Thromboembolism / prevention & control*


  • Anticoagulants
  • Benzamides
  • Pyrazoles
  • Pyridines
  • Pyridones
  • apixaban
  • betrixaban
  • Rivaroxaban