Document Detail

Fixed dose subcutaneous low molecular weight heparins versus adjusted dose unfractionated heparin for venous thromboembolism.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15495007     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Low molecular weight heparins (LMWH) have been shown to be effective and safe in preventing venous thromboembolism (VTE), and may also be effective for the initial treatment of VTE.
OBJECTIVES: To determine the effect of LMWH compared with unfractionated heparin (UFH) for the initial treatment of VTE.
SEARCH STRATEGY: Trials were identified from the Cochrane Peripheral Vascular Diseases Group's Specialised Register, CENTRAL and LILACS. Colleagues and pharmaceutical companies were contacted for additional information.
SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised controlled trials comparing fixed dose subcutaneous LMWH with adjusted dose intravenous or subcutaneous UFH in people with VTE.
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: At least two reviewers assessed trials for inclusion and quality, and extracted data independently.
MAIN RESULTS: Twenty-two studies were included (n = 8867). Thrombotic complications occurred in 151/4181 (3.6%) participants treated with LMWH, compared with 211/3941 (5.4%) participants treated with UFH (odds ratio (OR) 0.68; 95% confidence intervals (CI) 0.55 to 0.84, 18 trials). Thrombus size was reduced in 53% of participants treated with LMWH and 45% treated with UFH (OR 0.69; 95% CI 0.59 to 0.81, 12 trials). Major haemorrhages occurred in 41/3500 (1.2%) participants treated with LMWH, compared with 73/3624 (2.0%) participants treated with UFH (OR 0.57; 95% CI 0.39 to 0.83, 19 trials). In eighteen trials, 187/4193 (4.5%) participants treated with LMWH died, compared with 233/3861 (6.0%) participants treated with UFH (OR 0.76; 95% CI 0.62 to 0.92). Nine studies (n = 4451) examined proximal thrombosis; 2192 participants treated with LMWH and 2259 with UFH. Subgroup analysis showed statistically significant reductions favouring LMWH in thrombotic complications and major haemorrhage. By the end of follow up, 80 (3.6%) participants treated with LMWH had thrombotic complications, compared with 143 (6.3%) treated with UFH (OR 0.57; 95% CI 0.44 to 0.75). Major haemorrhage occurred in 18 (1.0%) participants treated with LMWH, compared with 37 (2.1%) treated with UFH (OR 0.50; 95% CI 0.29 to 0.85). Nine studies (n = 4157) showed a statistically significant reduction favouring LMWH with respect to mortality. By the end of follow up, 3.3% (70/2094) of participants treated with LMWH had died, compared with 5.3% (110/2063) of participants treated with UFH (OR 0.62; 95% CI 0.46 to 0.84).
REVIEWERS' CONCLUSIONS: LMWH is more effective than UFH for the initial treatment of VTE. LMWH significantly reduces the occurrence of major haemorrhage during initial treatment and overall mortality at follow up.
C J J van Dongen; A G M van den Belt; M H Prins; A W A Lensing
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Meta-Analysis; Review     Date:  2004-10-18
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Cochrane database of systematic reviews     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1469-493X     ISO Abbreviation:  Cochrane Database Syst Rev     Publication Date:  2004  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-10-20     Completed Date:  2005-03-23     Revised Date:  2013-06-28    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  100909747     Medline TA:  Cochrane Database Syst Rev     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  CD001100     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Heparin / administration & dosage,  adverse effects
Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight / administration & dosage*,  adverse effects
Injections, Subcutaneous
Pulmonary Embolism / drug therapy*
Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
Venous Thrombosis / drug therapy*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight; 9005-49-6/Heparin
Comment In:
ACP J Club. 2005 May-Jun;142(3):71   [PMID:  15862070 ]
Update In:
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;(9):CD001100   [PMID:  20824828 ]
Update Of:
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2000;(2):CD001100   [PMID:  10796593 ]

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