Hemorrhagic Complications in Patients Treated with Anticoagulant Doses of a Low Molecular Weight Heparin (Enoxaparin) in Routine Hospital Practice

Ellis, Martin H.; Hadari, Ruth; Tchuvrero, Noa; Shapira, Shirley; Kovlenko, Irena; Kozmìakova, Mariana; Zissin, Rivka; Elis, Avishay
April 2006
Clinical & Applied Thrombosis/Hemostasis;Apr2006, Vol. 12 Issue 2, p199
Academic Journal
Low molecular weight heparins (LMWHs) are a rapidly growing class of anticoagulant drug. Their efficacy has been demonstrated in several clinical settings where they are rapidly becoming the anticoagulant of choice. Controlled clinical studies in patients with deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and unstable angina have documented that the frequency of major hemorrhage is 0.5-4%. The purpose of the study was to determine the frequency of minor and major hemorrhage occurring in patients receiving anticoagulant doses of an LMWH (enoxaparin) during routine clinical practice. A prospective, observational study of consecutive patients receiving enoxaparin 1 mg/kg twice daily for at least 24 hours in five internal medicine wards of a university teaching hospital was performed. Five hundred forty-nine patients were studied. The mean age was 67.5±15.5 years and the mean duration of enoxaparin therapy was 3.8±1.5 days. Hemorrhage was documented in a total of 94 patients (17.3%). Major hemorrhage occurred in 14 patients (2.6%), injection-site hemorrhage occurred in 55 patients (10%), and minor hemorrhage (noninjection site) was documented in 25 patients (4.7%). There were two deaths attributed to hemorrhage. Patients with major hemorrhage were older than patients with minor or no hemorrhage (75.5±10.4 versus 66.8±15.2 years; p=0.03) and occurred in patients receiving enoxaparin for a longer period (5.14±3.8 days) than those with minor (4±2.5 days) or no hemorrhage (2.9±2.1 days). Major hemorrhage was significantly associated with impaired renal function, chronic liver disease, and concomitant treatment with warfarin or a proton pump inhibitor. Enoxaparin used in anticoagulant doses in unselected medical patients is not associated with more major hemorrhagic complications than observed in controlled clinical trials. Major hemorrhage may be more likely in older patients, in patients with chronic liver disease and impaired renal function, in patients receiving prolonged enoxaparin therapy, and in patients receiving warfarin or proton pump inhibitors.


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