Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Network (IPFnet) AntiCoagulant Effectiveness in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (ACE IPF)

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Accession Number

Study Type
Clinical Trial

Collection Type
Open BioLINCC Study See bottom of this webpage for request information

Study Period
10/2009 – 7/2011

NHLBI Division

Dataset(s) Last Updated
January 3, 2018


Commercial Use Data Restrictions No

Data Restrictions Based On Area Of Research No


The ACE-IPF trial tested the hypothesis that treatment with warfarin at recognized therapeutic doses would reduce rates of mortality, hospitalization, and declines in Forced Vital Capacity (FVC) in subjects with Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).


IPF is a chronic, progressive lung disease of unknown cause characterized by the histopathologic pattern of usual interstitial pneumonia. The median survival of patients with IPF after the onset of symptoms is 2 to 5 years. Prior animal and human studies in pulmonary fibrosis provide a compelling rationale to examine anticoagulation as a therapeutic approach in IPF. Large epidemiologic studies link IPF with thrombosis-related clinical events, such as an increased risk of acute coronary syndrome and deep vein thrombosis. The suspected causal relationship may extend beyond simple coagulation cascade-induced thrombus formation, as procoagulant enzymes may directly stimulate fibrosis via cell surface receptor–mediated responses.


Patients aged 35 to 80 years with progressive IPF were potentially eligible. Progressive IPF was defined as a history of (1) worsening of dyspnea, or (2) physiologic deterioration defined as an absolute decline of either FVC greater than or equal to 10% or DlCO greater than or equal to 15%, a reduction in arterial oxygen saturation of greater than or equal to 5%, or progression of radiographic findings. Between December 14, 2009 and April 1, 2011, 145 subjects were enrolled: 72 in the warfarin group and 73 in the placebo group. The mean age for the population was 67 years. 27% of the subjects were women and 92% were white.

Participants were excluded if they met any of the following criteria: current indication for, or treatment with, warfarin, prasugrel, or clopidogrel combined with aspirin; the presence of an increased risk of bleeding; a recent cerebral vascular accident or gastrointestinal bleeding; any current signs or symptoms of severe, progressive, or uncontrolled comorbid illness; and their presence on the active list for lung transplantation.


ACE-IPF was a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of warfarin targeting an international normalized ratio (INR) of 2.0 to 3.0 in patients with IPF. Subjects were randomized in a 1:1 ratio to warfarin or matching placebo for a planned treatment period of 48 weeks. Study subjects were provided two strengths of warfarin tablets (1 mg and 2.5 mg) or matching placebos. Subjects measured their INR with encrypted meters at least weekly. Participants were seen at screening, baseline, and at 16, 32, and 48 weeks after enrollment. Home monitoring was validated by plasma INR measurement at the week 1 and 16 visits.

The primary outcome was a composite endpoint based on the time to all-cause mortality; nonelective, nonbleeding hospitalization; or a decrease in the absolute FVC greater than or equal to 10% from baseline value. Secondary outcome measures included rates of mortality, hospitalization, respiratory-related hospitalization, acute exacerbation, bleeding, cardiovascular events, and changes over time in FVC, 6-minute walk test distance, DlCO, plasma fibrin D-dimer levels, and quality of life (QOL)


The study did not show a benefit for warfarin in the treatment of patients with progressive IPF and was terminated due to excess mortality in the warfarin treatment group. Treatment with warfarin was associated with an increased risk of mortality in an IPF population who lacked other indications for anticoagulation.

Reported causes of death indicated 11 of the 14 were respiratory-related in the warfarin group versus three of the three in the placebo group. There were also three cardiovascular deaths in the warfarin group versus none in the placebo group. No deaths were attributed to bleeding. The warfarin group also demonstrated an increased rate of combined all-cause hospitalization and all-cause mortality.
(Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2012 Jul 1;186(1):88-95.)

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