Rivaroxaban in patients with symptomatic peripheral artery disease after lower extremity bypass surgery with venous and prosthetic conduits

J Vasc Surg. 2023 Apr;77(4):1107-1118.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2022.11.062. Epub 2022 Dec 5.


Background: Patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD) requiring lower extremity revascularization (LER) have a high risk of adverse limb and cardiovascular events. The results from the VOYAGER PAD (efficacy and safety of rivaroxaban in reducing the risk of major thrombotic vascular events in subjects with symptomatic peripheral artery disease undergoing peripheral revascularization procedures of the lower extremities) trial have demonstrated that rivaroxaban significantly reduced this risk with an overall favorable net benefit for patients undergoing surgical revascularization. However, the efficacy and safety for those treated by surgical bypass, including stratification by bypass conduit (venous or prosthetic), has not yet been described.

Methods: In the VOYAGER PAD trial, patients who had undergone surgical and endovascular infrainguinal LER to treat PAD were randomized to rivaroxaban 2.5 mg twice daily or placebo on top of background antiplatelet therapy (aspirin 100 mg to be used in all and clopidogrel in some at the treating physician's discretion) and followed up for a median of 28 months. The primary end point was a composite of acute limb ischemia, major amputation of vascular etiology, myocardial infarction, ischemic stroke, and cardiovascular death. The principal safety outcome was major bleeding using the TIMI (thrombolysis in myocardial infarction) scale. The index procedure details, including conduit type (venous vs prosthetic), were collected at baseline.

Results: Among 6564 randomized patients, 2185 (33%) had undergone surgical LER. Of these 2185 patients, surgical bypass had been performed for 1448 (66%), using a prosthetic conduit for 773 patients (53%) and venous conduit for 646 patients (45%). Adjusting for the baseline differences and anatomic factors, the risk of unplanned limb revascularization in the placebo arm was 2.5-fold higher for those receiving a prosthetic conduit vs a venous conduit (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 2.53; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.65-3.90; P < .001), and the risk of acute limb ischemia was three times greater (adjusted HR, 3.07; 95% CI, 1.84-5.11; P < .001). The use of rivaroxaban reduced the primary outcome for the patients treated with bypass surgery (HR, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.62-0.98), with consistent benefits for those receiving venous (HR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.49-0.96) and prosthetic (HR, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.66-1.15) conduits (Pinteraction = .254). In the overall trial, major bleeding using the TIMI scale was increased with rivaroxaban. However, the numbers for those treated with bypass surgery were low (five with rivaroxaban vs nine with placebo; HR, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.18-1.65) and not powered to show statistical significance.

Conclusions: Surgical bypass with a prosthetic conduit was associated with significantly higher rates of major adverse limb events relative to venous conduits even after adjustment for patient and anatomic characteristics. Adding rivaroxaban 2.5 mg twice daily to aspirin or dual antiplatelet therapy significantly reduced this risk, with an increase in the bleeding risk, but had a favorable benefit risk for patients treated with bypass surgery, regardless of conduit type. Rivaroxaban should be considered after lower extremity bypass for symptomatic PAD to reduce ischemic complications of the heart, limb, and brain.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02504216.

Keywords: Antithrombotic therapy; Bypass; Conduit; Multicenter; Subgroup analysis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aspirin / therapeutic use
  • Hemorrhage / chemically induced
  • Humans
  • Ischemia / diagnostic imaging
  • Ischemia / drug therapy
  • Ischemia / surgery
  • Lower Extremity / blood supply
  • Myocardial Infarction* / drug therapy
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease* / diagnostic imaging
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease* / surgery
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Rivaroxaban / adverse effects
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Rivaroxaban
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors
  • Aspirin

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02504216