Comparison of the Effectiveness and Safety of Low-Molecular Weight Heparin Versus Unfractionated Heparin Anticoagulation After Heart Valve Surgery.
Am J Cardiol. 2010 Dec 22;
Authors: Bucci C, Geerts WH, Sinclair A, Fremes SE
Although unfractionated heparin (UFH) is used routinely after heart valve surgery at many institutions, cardiovascular surgery patients have a particularly high risk for developing heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT). The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy and safety of low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) or UFH after heart valve surgery by conducting a retrospective evaluation of consecutive cardiovascular surgery patients in whom the LMWH dalteparin (n = 100) was used as the postoperative anticoagulant. This group was compared to an earlier group of patients who received UFH (n = 103). The main outcomes included the efficacy of the anticoagulant regimens (determined by the incidence of valve thrombosis, arterial thromboembolic events, and venous thromboembolic events) and the safety (determined by major bleeding, HIT, thrombotic events in HIT-positive cases, and death). Overall, there were for fewer thrombotic events in the LMWH-treated group (4% vs 11%, p = 0.11). There was a higher rate of bleeding events in the UFH-treated group (10% vs 3%, p = 0.08). Six patients in the UFH-treated group developed HIT, 4 of whom had thrombotic events (HIT with thrombosis). In the LMWH-treated group, 3 patients developed HIT, 1 of whom had HIT with thrombosis. In conclusion, in this study, an LMWH regimen after heart valve surgery was effective and safe, with fewer thrombotic, bleeding, HIT, and HIT with thrombosis events.
PMID: 21184996 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]