Preventing hemorrhage in high-risk hemodialysis: Regional versus low-dose heparin

Swartz, Richard D.; Port, Friedrich K.
October 1979
Kidney International;Oct1979, Vol. 16 Issue 4, p513
Academic Journal
Hemodialysis in patients with increased risk for hemorrhage can be accomplished with either a regional or a low, total dose of heparin, in a prospective study of 69 series of dialyses performed on an alternating schedule of heparinization for each patient, bleeding complications during and immediately following dialysis occurred in 23 of 122 dialyses (19%) with regional heparin compared to 13 of 133 dialyses (10%) with low-dose heparin (P < 0.05). The incidence of hemorrhage correlated with the estimated degree of bleeding risk both at expected and at occult bleeding sites, and was the same or higher with regional heparin in all categories. Hemorrhage was not correlated with preexisting coagulation abnormalities, concurrent anticoagulant drugs, level of azotemia, or ability to successfully limit systemic heparinization during dialysis. The incidence of partial clotting of the dialyzer was 3 to 5% with both heparin protocols. We conclude that regional heparinization has no clinical or practical advantage over low-total-dose heparin in preventing bleeding associated with hemodialysis.


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