Malignancy and venous thrombosis in the critical care patient.

Link to article at PubMed

Malignancy and venous thrombosis in the critical care patient.

Crit Care Med. 2010 Feb;38(2 Suppl):S64-70

Authors: Wu C, Lee AY

Venous thromboembolic disease has significant clinical consequences. There are few data available to guide its management in the critically ill cancer patient, perhaps the most complex and challenging patient population encountered. Multiple interacting and often unique factors contribute to both the thrombotic and bleeding risk in such patients. Anticoagulants are effective for prophylaxis and treatment; heparins are the best-studied agents in this setting. Whether unfractionated or low-molecular-weight heparin is the most appropriate agent depends on the exact clinical situation. Prevention of venous thrombosis is a well-recognized health priority, but thromboprophylaxis remains underused, especially in some high-risk populations such as cancer patients. Enhanced recognition of the thrombotic risk factors and a better understanding of the risks and benefits of anticoagulant therapy are necessary to improve utilization, and much research is needed to address how to implement effective thromboprophylaxis strategies. Careful consideration of the patient's overall prognosis is necessary to develop safe, effective, and individualized approaches to treating thrombosis.

PMID: 20083916 [PubMed - in process]

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