Ann Pharmacother. 2020 Sep 10:1060028020957620. doi: 10.1177/1060028020957620. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the optimal anticoagulation strategy in patients diagnosed with Lemierre Syndrome (LS).
DATA SOURCES: A systematic review in accordance with PRISMA guidelines was conducted using PubMed, MEDLINE, Scopus, ProQuest, and CINAHL from January to April 2020. Search terms included "Lemierre Syndrome" AND "anticoagulation" NOT "prophylaxis" OR "atrial fibrillation," in addition to a list of parenteral and oral anticoagulants. Adult patients who developed a clot and required systemic anticoagulation as a result of LS were included in this review.
STUDY SELECTION AND DATA EXTRACTION: A total of 4180 records were initially identified, though following the removal of duplicates and nonrelevant entries, 216 full-text articles were reviewed for inclusion; 13 articles were ultimately included.
DATA SYNTHESIS: The majority (11/14) of patients developed thromboses of the internal jugular veins, which corresponds to the pathophysiology of LS. Anticoagulation strategies were varied in the included literature, though 12/14 patients initially received a parenteral product. Two patients received a direct-acting oral anticoagulant (DOAC) following either intravenous heparin or subcutaneous enoxaparin and had outcomes similar to patients transitioned to warfarin.
RELEVANCE TO PATIENT CARE AND CLINICAL PRACTICE: Anticoagulation in LS is a clinical controversy because the thromboembolic events have rarely led to significant complications; thrombi typically resolve independently, and concerns for bleeding risks are well founded; however, this review indicates both the efficacy and safety of anticoagulation.
CONCLUSIONS: Anticoagulation is both efficacious and safe in LS, including treatment using a DOAC. Although further studies are needed, clinicians should consider a duration of anticoagulation of 6 to 12 weeks.