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Spinal Cord. 2013 Aug;51(8):596-602. doi: 10.1038/sc.2013.48. Epub 2013 May 21.

Heparin for venous thromboembolism prophylaxis in patients with acute spinal cord injury: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

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  • 1Nantong University, Nantong city, People's Republic of China. pphss@126.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The objective of this study is to systematically review and estimate the effect of heparin for thromboprophylaxis in patients with acute spinal cord injury (SCI).

METHODS:

We searched the PubMed database up to February 2013. Only randomized control trials (RCTs), quasi-RCTs, cohorts, case-control and cross-sectional studies were included. The incidence of venous thromboembolism (VTE) and major bleeding complication were recorded as the endpoints. The summary relative risks (RR) were calculated by meta-analysis.

RESULTS:

A total of 18 studies with 2578 patients were included. Four studies evaluated the effects of low-dose unfractionated heparin (LDUH) compared placebo or untreated. No significant differences were observed, with the summary RR 0.661 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.365-1.199; Z=1.36, P=0.173) for VTE. Only one RCT compared fixed-dose LDUH with adjusted-dose LDUH, which showed lower VTE incidence but higher bleeding incidence for adjusted dose. Nine trials have compared LDUH with low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH). No significant differences were observed for VTE with the summary RR 1.633 (95% CI 0.822-3.243; Z=1.40, P=0.162). But major bleeding was lower with LMWH (summary RR=2.034, 95% CI 1.018-4.063; Z=2.01, P=0.044). Three studies compared different LMWHs, which included one for enoxaparin versus tinzaparin and two for enoxaparin versus dalteparin. No significant differences were observed with the summary RR 0.694 (95% CI 0.336-1.434; Z=0.99, P=0.324) for VTE. Three studies compared different dose of LMWH. No differences were observed.

CONCLUSION:

Our meta-analysis showed that in patients with acute SCI, LDUH have no thromboprophylaxis effect compared with placebo or untreated; LMWH seems only can reduce bleeding incidence, but not prophylaxis thromboembolism compared with LDUH. Because of no good quality studies existed in this setting, well-designed RCTs are urgently needed.

PMID:
23689387
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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