Thrombocytopenia in critically ill patients receiving thromboprophylaxis: frequency, risk factors, and outcomes.

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Thrombocytopenia in critically ill patients receiving thromboprophylaxis: frequency, risk factors, and outcomes.

Chest. 2013 Jun 20;

Authors: Williamson DR, Albert M, Heels-Ansdell D, Arnold DM, Lauzier F, Zarychanski R, Crowther M, Warkentin TE, Dodek P, Cade J, Lesur O, Lim W, Fowler R, Lamontagne F, Langevin S, Freitag A, Muscedere J, Friedrich JO, Geerts W, Burry L, Alhashemi J, Cook D

ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Thrombocytopenia is the most common hemostatic disorder in critically ill patients. The objective of this study was to describe the incidence, risk factors, and outcomes of thrombocytopenia in patients admitted to medical-surgical intensive care units (ICUs).
METHODS: 3746 patients in 67 centers were enrolled in a randomized trial in which unfractionated heparin was compared to low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) for thromboprophylaxis. Patients who had baseline platelet counts <75x109/L or severe coagulopathy at screening were excluded. We analyzed the risk of developing mild (100-149x109/L), moderate (50-99x109/L) and severe (<50x109/L) thrombocytopenia during ICU stay. We also assessed independent and time-varying predictors of thrombocytopenia and the effect of thrombocytopenia on major bleeding, transfusions, and death.
RESULTS: The incidence of mild, moderate, and severe thrombocytopenia was 15.3%, 5.1% and 1.6%, respectively. Predictors of each category of thrombocytopenia were: APACHE II score, use of inotropes or vasopressors, and renal replacement therapy. The risk of moderate thrombocytopenia was lower in patients who received LMWH thromboprophylaxis, but higher in surgical patients and in patients who had liver disease. Each category of thrombocytopenia was associated with subsequent bleeding and transfusions. Moderate and severe thrombocytopenia were associated with increased ICU and hospital mortality.
CONCLUSION: A high severity of illness, prior surgery, use of inotropes or vasopressors, renal replacement therapy, and liver dysfunction are associated with a higher risk of thrombocytopenia developing in ICU, whereas LMWH thromboprophylaxis is associated with a lower risk. Patients who develop thrombocytopenia in the ICU are more likely to bleed, receive transfusions and die.

PMID: 23788287 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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