To determine the efficacy and safety of dalteparin postoperative bridging treatment versus placebo for patients with atrial fibrillation or mechanical heart valves when warfarin is temporarily interrupted for a planned procedure.
Prospective, double blind, randomised controlled trial.
10 thrombosis research sites in Canada and India between February 2007 and March 2016.
1471 patients aged 18 years or older with atrial fibrillation or mechanical heart valves who required temporary interruption of warfarin for a procedure.
Random assignment to dalteparin (n=821; one patient withdrew consent immediately after randomisation) or placebo (n=650) after the procedure.
Major thromboembolism (stroke, transient ischaemic attack, proximal deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, myocardial infarction, peripheral embolism, or vascular death) and major bleeding according to the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis criteria within 90 days of the procedure.
The rate of major thromboembolism within 90 days was 1.2% (eight events in 650 patients) for placebo and 1.0% (eight events in 820 patients) for dalteparin (P=0.64, risk difference -0.3%, 95% confidence interval -1.3 to 0.8). The rate of major bleeding was 2.0% (13 events in 650 patients) for placebo and 1.3% (11 events in 820 patients) for dalteparin (P=0.32, risk difference -0.7, 95% confidence interval -2.0 to 0.7). The results were consistent for the atrial fibrillation and mechanical heart valves groups.
In patients with atrial fibrillation or mechanical heart valves who had warfarin interrupted for a procedure, no significant benefit was found for postoperative dalteparin bridging to prevent major thromboembolism.
Clinicaltrials.gov NCT00432796.

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