How frequently is venous thromboembolism in heparin-treated patients associated with heparin-induced thrombocytopenia?

Robert L. Levine, David McCollum, Marcie J. Hursting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Background: Patients receiving heparin for thromboprophylaxis or treatment may have new or recurrent venous thromboembolism (VTE) if immune-mediated heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) occurs or for other reasons, eg, if anticoagulation fails. We estimated from the literature how frequently a patient presenting with VTE during or following heparin therapy has HIT-associated VTE. Methods: A comprehensive, systematic literature search was conducted to identify studies using unfractionated or low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) for thromboprophylaxis or treatment in which new or recurrent VTE and serologically confirmed HIT were reported. From extracted study data, the proportion of patients with HIT-associated VTE relative to any VTE was calculated by heparin type and mode of administration. Results: We identified 10 studies, some with multiple arms, that used unfractionated heparin (IV administration, 5 studies; subcutaneous administration, 3 studies) or subcutaneous LMWH (5 studies) and met analysis criteria. Across these studies, 386 of 6,219 heparin-treated patients had VTE, including 32 patients who also had HIT. The frequency of HIT-associated VTE among heparin-treated patients with VTE was comparable between IV and subcutaneous unfractionated heparin therapy (13.2% [17 of 129 patients] vs 12.4% [14 of 113 patients]; odds ratio, 1.07; 95% confidence interval, 0.50 to 2.3; p > 0.99) yet significantly different between unfractionated heparin and LMWH therapy (12.8% [31 of 242 patients] vs 0.7% [1 of 144 patients]; odds ratio, 21.0; 95% confidence interval, 2.8 to 156; p < 0.001). Conclusions: VTE is associated with HIT infrequently (< 1%) in LMWH-treated patients, yet often (approximately one in eight cases) in unfractionated heparin-treated patients. Physicians should suspect the possibility of HIT if VTE develops during or soon after unfractionated heparin use; if thrombocytopenia is present, alternative anticoagulation should be used until HIT is excluded.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)681-687
Number of pages7
JournalChest
Volume130
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2006

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Venous Thromboembolism
Thrombocytopenia
Heparin
Low Molecular Weight Heparin
Odds Ratio
Confidence Intervals
Therapeutics

Keywords

  • Adverse effects
  • Anticoagulant drugs
  • Heparin
  • Thrombocytopenia
  • Thrombosis
  • Venous thrombosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

Cite this

How frequently is venous thromboembolism in heparin-treated patients associated with heparin-induced thrombocytopenia? / Levine, Robert L.; McCollum, David; Hursting, Marcie J.

In: Chest, Vol. 130, No. 3, 01.09.2006, p. 681-687.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Levine, Robert L. ; McCollum, David ; Hursting, Marcie J. / How frequently is venous thromboembolism in heparin-treated patients associated with heparin-induced thrombocytopenia?. In: Chest. 2006 ; Vol. 130, No. 3. pp. 681-687.
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abstract = "Background: Patients receiving heparin for thromboprophylaxis or treatment may have new or recurrent venous thromboembolism (VTE) if immune-mediated heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) occurs or for other reasons, eg, if anticoagulation fails. We estimated from the literature how frequently a patient presenting with VTE during or following heparin therapy has HIT-associated VTE. Methods: A comprehensive, systematic literature search was conducted to identify studies using unfractionated or low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) for thromboprophylaxis or treatment in which new or recurrent VTE and serologically confirmed HIT were reported. From extracted study data, the proportion of patients with HIT-associated VTE relative to any VTE was calculated by heparin type and mode of administration. Results: We identified 10 studies, some with multiple arms, that used unfractionated heparin (IV administration, 5 studies; subcutaneous administration, 3 studies) or subcutaneous LMWH (5 studies) and met analysis criteria. Across these studies, 386 of 6,219 heparin-treated patients had VTE, including 32 patients who also had HIT. The frequency of HIT-associated VTE among heparin-treated patients with VTE was comparable between IV and subcutaneous unfractionated heparin therapy (13.2{\%} [17 of 129 patients] vs 12.4{\%} [14 of 113 patients]; odds ratio, 1.07; 95{\%} confidence interval, 0.50 to 2.3; p > 0.99) yet significantly different between unfractionated heparin and LMWH therapy (12.8{\%} [31 of 242 patients] vs 0.7{\%} [1 of 144 patients]; odds ratio, 21.0; 95{\%} confidence interval, 2.8 to 156; p < 0.001). Conclusions: VTE is associated with HIT infrequently (< 1{\%}) in LMWH-treated patients, yet often (approximately one in eight cases) in unfractionated heparin-treated patients. Physicians should suspect the possibility of HIT if VTE develops during or soon after unfractionated heparin use; if thrombocytopenia is present, alternative anticoagulation should be used until HIT is excluded.",
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AU - Levine, Robert L.

AU - McCollum, David

AU - Hursting, Marcie J.

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N2 - Background: Patients receiving heparin for thromboprophylaxis or treatment may have new or recurrent venous thromboembolism (VTE) if immune-mediated heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) occurs or for other reasons, eg, if anticoagulation fails. We estimated from the literature how frequently a patient presenting with VTE during or following heparin therapy has HIT-associated VTE. Methods: A comprehensive, systematic literature search was conducted to identify studies using unfractionated or low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) for thromboprophylaxis or treatment in which new or recurrent VTE and serologically confirmed HIT were reported. From extracted study data, the proportion of patients with HIT-associated VTE relative to any VTE was calculated by heparin type and mode of administration. Results: We identified 10 studies, some with multiple arms, that used unfractionated heparin (IV administration, 5 studies; subcutaneous administration, 3 studies) or subcutaneous LMWH (5 studies) and met analysis criteria. Across these studies, 386 of 6,219 heparin-treated patients had VTE, including 32 patients who also had HIT. The frequency of HIT-associated VTE among heparin-treated patients with VTE was comparable between IV and subcutaneous unfractionated heparin therapy (13.2% [17 of 129 patients] vs 12.4% [14 of 113 patients]; odds ratio, 1.07; 95% confidence interval, 0.50 to 2.3; p > 0.99) yet significantly different between unfractionated heparin and LMWH therapy (12.8% [31 of 242 patients] vs 0.7% [1 of 144 patients]; odds ratio, 21.0; 95% confidence interval, 2.8 to 156; p < 0.001). Conclusions: VTE is associated with HIT infrequently (< 1%) in LMWH-treated patients, yet often (approximately one in eight cases) in unfractionated heparin-treated patients. Physicians should suspect the possibility of HIT if VTE develops during or soon after unfractionated heparin use; if thrombocytopenia is present, alternative anticoagulation should be used until HIT is excluded.

AB - Background: Patients receiving heparin for thromboprophylaxis or treatment may have new or recurrent venous thromboembolism (VTE) if immune-mediated heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) occurs or for other reasons, eg, if anticoagulation fails. We estimated from the literature how frequently a patient presenting with VTE during or following heparin therapy has HIT-associated VTE. Methods: A comprehensive, systematic literature search was conducted to identify studies using unfractionated or low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) for thromboprophylaxis or treatment in which new or recurrent VTE and serologically confirmed HIT were reported. From extracted study data, the proportion of patients with HIT-associated VTE relative to any VTE was calculated by heparin type and mode of administration. Results: We identified 10 studies, some with multiple arms, that used unfractionated heparin (IV administration, 5 studies; subcutaneous administration, 3 studies) or subcutaneous LMWH (5 studies) and met analysis criteria. Across these studies, 386 of 6,219 heparin-treated patients had VTE, including 32 patients who also had HIT. The frequency of HIT-associated VTE among heparin-treated patients with VTE was comparable between IV and subcutaneous unfractionated heparin therapy (13.2% [17 of 129 patients] vs 12.4% [14 of 113 patients]; odds ratio, 1.07; 95% confidence interval, 0.50 to 2.3; p > 0.99) yet significantly different between unfractionated heparin and LMWH therapy (12.8% [31 of 242 patients] vs 0.7% [1 of 144 patients]; odds ratio, 21.0; 95% confidence interval, 2.8 to 156; p < 0.001). Conclusions: VTE is associated with HIT infrequently (< 1%) in LMWH-treated patients, yet often (approximately one in eight cases) in unfractionated heparin-treated patients. Physicians should suspect the possibility of HIT if VTE develops during or soon after unfractionated heparin use; if thrombocytopenia is present, alternative anticoagulation should be used until HIT is excluded.

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KW - Anticoagulant drugs

KW - Heparin

KW - Thrombocytopenia

KW - Thrombosis

KW - Venous thrombosis

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