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Long-term therapy with low-molecular-weight heparin in cancer patients with venous thromboembolism

Journal: Thrombosis and Haemostasis
ISSN: 0340-6245
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1160/TH11-06-0423
Issue: 2012: 107/1 (Jan) pp. 1–199
Pages: 37-43

Long-term therapy with low-molecular-weight heparin in cancer patients with venous thromboembolism

Erratum in Issue 107.4

P. J. Marchena (1), J. A. Nieto (2), M. Guil (3), F. García-Bragado (4), R. Rabuñal (5), H. Boccalon (6), J. Trujillo-Santos (7), M. Monreal (8), RIETE Investigators

(1) Departamento de Medicina Interna y Urgencias, Parc Sanitari Sant Joan de Deu, Hospital General de Sant Boi, Spain; (2) Servicio de Medicina Interna, Hospital Virgen de la Luz, Cuenca, Spain; (3) Servicio de Medicina Interna, Hospital de la Axarquía, Vélez, Málaga, Spain; (4) Servicio de Medicina Interna, Hospital de Girona Dr. Josep Trueta, Girona, Spain; (5) Servicio de Medicina Interna, Complexo Hospitalario Xeral-Calde, Lugo, Spain; (6) Department of Vascular Medicine, Hospital de Rangueil, Toulouse, France; (7) Servicio de Medicina Interna, Hospital Santa Maria del Rosell, Cartagena, Spain; (8) Servicio de Medicina Interna Hospital Universitari Germans Trias i Pujol, Badalona, Spain

Keywords

cancer, pulmonary embolism, heparins, Venous thrombosis

Summary

Long-term therapy with low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) is the treatment of choice for cancer patients with venous thromboembolism (VTE). However, the ideal doses of LMWH have not been thoroughly studied. We used the RIETE Registry data to assess the influence of the daily LMWH dosage on outcome during the first three months after VTE. We used propensity score-matching to compare patients who received <150 vs. those receiving ≥150 UI/kg/day LMWH. Up to July 2010, 3,222 cancer patients with VTE received long-term therapy with fixed doses of LMWH. Of these, 1,472 (46%) received <150 IU/kg/day (mean, 112 ± 28), and 1,750 received ≥150 IU/kg/day (mean, 184 ± 32). Results of the propensity score matching involved 1269 matched pairs. During follow-up, the incidence of pulmonary embolism (PE) recurrences was similar (1.2% vs. 1.9%), but patients receiving <150 IU/kg/day LMWH had a lower incidence of fatal PE than those treated with ≥150 IU/kg/day (0.2% vs. 1.0%; p=0.004). Multivariate analysis confirmed that patients receiving <150 IU/kg/day LMWH had a lower risk for fatal PE (odds ratio [OR]: 0.2; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.06–0.8) and for major bleeding (OR: 0.6; 95% CI: 0.3–1.0) than those treated with ≥150 IU/kg/day. In real life, one in every two cancer patients with VTE received lower doses of LMWH than those used in randomised trials, with large variations from patient to patient. Unexpectedly, patients treated with <150 IU/kg/day LMWH had fewer fatal PE cases and fewer major bleeding events than those receiving ≥150 IU/kg/day LMWH. This finding, however, should be validated in prospective clinical trials.

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