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Bleeding Risk of Therapeutic Unfractionated Heparin and Low Molecular Weight Heparin in Patients with Cirrhosis

  • Katherine L. Summers
  • Kyle A. Davis
  • Sarah A. NislyEmail author
Short Communication
  • 16 Downloads

Abstract

Background and Objective

Patients with cirrhosis are simultaneously at an increased risk of bleeding and thrombosis. Studies comparing the safety of parenteral anticoagulants in this population are lacking. This study evaluated the safety of therapeutic unfractionated heparin versus low molecular weight heparin in patients with cirrhosis.

Methods

This system-wide, retrospective cohort study included adults with cirrhosis receiving unfractionated heparin or low molecular weight heparin for the treatment of acute venous thromboembolism. The primary endpoint was the incidence of major bleeding.

Results

Eighty-two patients were included in this study, with 52 receiving unfractionated heparin and 30 receiving low molecular weight heparin. More major bleeding occurred in the unfractionated heparin arm compared to the low molecular weight heparin arm (19.2% vs 0%, p = 0.010).

Conclusions

Low molecular weight heparin may be a safer option in patients with cirrhosis treated for acute venous thromboembolism, but future studies should confirm these findings.

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Funding

No source of funding.

Conflict of Interest

All authors have no conflict of interest to declare.

Ethical Approval

This study was approved by the Wake Forest University Health Sciences Institutional Review Board (IRB 00053577).

Informed Consent

Written informed consent was not required as this was a retrospective chart review.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PharmacyWake Forest Baptist HealthWinston-SalemUSA
  2. 2.School of PharmacyWingate UniversityWingateUSA

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