This trial is active, not recruiting.

Conditions heart disease, stroke, ischemic heart disease, myocardial infarction
Treatments aspirin, warfarin
Phase phase 3
Sponsor Columbia University
Collaborator National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Start date October 2002
End date August 2011
Trial size 2305 participants
Trial identifier NCT00041938, AAAC1093, CRC, R01NS39154, U01NS039143-01


The purpose of this study is to determine which of two treatments, Warfarin or aspirin, is better for preventing death and stroke in patients with poor heart function.

We are now transitioning into the sub-analysis part of the WARCEF patient data.

The study has recently completed data analysis for its Primary Aim. All randomized patients have completed their follow up. All study related procedure as per the protocol has been completed. We are now in the extension phase of the study to obtain more patient data to address further aims of the study. No new procedures are performed and data already in place at the sites will be collected (EKG and echocardiograms).

The aims for this study extension are:

- To assess progression of cardiac dysfunction over time among heart failure patients

- To correlate prognosis with cardiac dysfunction

United States No locations recruiting
Other countries No locations recruiting

Study Design

Allocation randomized
Intervention model parallel assignment
Masking double blind (subject, investigator)
Primary purpose prevention
(Active Comparator)
Aspirin: 325 mg per day
325 mg per day
(Active Comparator)
Warfarin: International Normalized Ratio (INR) 2.5-3.0; target INR 2.75
INR 2.5-3.0; target INR 2.75

Primary Outcomes

Event Rate Per 100 Patient Years for Composite Endpoint of Ischemic Stroke, Intracerebral Hemorrhage, or Death
time frame: From date of randomization until the date of the first to occur of ischemic stroke, intracerebral hemorrhage, or death, up to 6 years

Secondary Outcomes

Event Rate Per 100 Patient-years for Composite Endpoint of Hospitalization for Heart Failure, Myocardial Infarction, Ischemic Stroke, Intracerebral Hemorrhage, or Death.
time frame: From randomization to the first to occur of hospitalization for heart failure, myocardial infarction, ischemic stroke, intracerebral hemorrhage, or death, up to a maximum of 6 years.

Eligibility Criteria

Male or female participants at least 18 years old.

Inclusion Criteria - Cardiac EF <=35% by radionuclide ventriculography, left ventriculography or quantitive echocardiographic measurement or an echocardiographic Wall Motion Index of <=1.2, within three months of enrollment. The patient's clinical cardiac state at enrollment should be similar to their state at the time of the qualifying echocardiogram. The qualifying left ventricular function measurement must be obtained at least three months after an MI, coronary bypass grafting, PTCA, and at least one month after pacemaker insertion. Patients scheduled for mitral valve repair should have qualifying echo after surgery. - Modified Rankin score <=4. - Patient must be taking ACE inhibitors. If intolerant of ACE inhibitor, patient must be on angiotensin II receptor blockers or hydralazine and nitrates. - Patient is able to follow an outpatient protocol (requiring monthly blood tests and clinic visits every four months for the duration of the study) and is available by telephone. - Patient understands the purpose and requirements of the study, can make him/herself understood, and has provided informed consent. - Patients with recent stroke or TIA within twelve (12) months will be eligible to be included in the recent stroke (RS) subgroup. - Chronic CHF patients (NYHA I * IV) admitted to the hospital can be randomized prior to discharge if the patient is stable, taking oral medications for 24 hours and ambulatory at the time of discharge. Stable New York Heart Association Class IV patients will be eligible for randomization. Exclusion Criteria - The presence of any of the following unequivocal cardiac sources of embolism: chronic or paroxysmal AF, mechanical valve, endocarditis, intracardiac mobile or pedunculated thrombus, and valvular vegetation. - Cyanotic congenital heart disease, Eisenmenger's syndrome. - Decompensated heart failure. - Cardiac surgery, angioplasty, or MI within the past 3 months prior to randomization. - A contraindication to the use of either warfarin or aspirin, e.g. active peptic ulcer disease, active bleeding diathesis, platelets <100,000*, hematocrit <30, INR >1.3 (if not on warfarin), clotting factor abnormality that increases the risk of bleeding, alcohol or substance abuse, severe gait instability, cerebral hemorrhage, systemic hemorrhage within the past year, severe liver impairment (AST >3x normal*, cirrhosis), any condition requiring regular use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents, allergy to aspirin or warfarin, uncontrolled severe hypertension (systolic pressure >180 mm Hg or diastolic pressure > 110 mm Hg), positive stool guaiac not attributable to hemorrhoids, creatinine >3.0*. *on most recent test done within 30 days prior to randomization - Patient needs continuing therapy with intravenous heparin or low molecular weight heparin or a specific antiplatelet agent. - Dementia or psychiatric or physical problem that prevents the patient from following an outpatient program reliably. - Comorbid conditions that may limit survival to less than five years. - Pregnancy, or female of childbearing potential who is not sterilized or is not using a medically accepted form of contraception* (see procedure manual). *A pregnancy test is required for all women of childbearing age. - Enrollment in another study that would conflict with WARCEF. - Hospitalization for new diagnosis of onset CHF within the past one month or carotid endarterectomy or pacemaker insertion within the past one month prior to randomization . - Person under 18 years of age.

Additional Information

Official title Warfarin Versus Aspirin in Reduced Cardiac Ejection Fraction (WARCEF) Trial
Principal investigator Shunichi Homma, M.D.
Description Warfarin has proven effective in patients with ischemic heart disease, especially in the reduction of stroke, death and re-infarction following myocardial infarction, and in the reduction of stroke in atrial fibrillation. Warfarin is the most promising unstudied intervention in patients with cardiac failure. This randomized, double-blind, multi-center study will define optimal antithrombotic therapy for patients with cardiac (heart) failure and patients with low ejection fraction (EF). EF is the proportion of left ventricular volume emptied during systole. It reliably measures left ventricular systolic function. With the rapidly increasing numbers of elderly patients with heart failure, this study has important public health implications. The study will determine which of two commonly used treatments Warfarin, an anticoagulant, or aspirin, a drug which affects platelet function is better for preventing death and stroke in patients with low ejection fraction.
Trial information was received from ClinicalTrials.gov and was last updated in April 2013.
Information provided to ClinicalTrials.gov by Columbia University.