Home > For Consumers > Low‐molecular‐weight heparins or...

PubMed Health. A service of the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet]. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd; 2003-.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet].

Low‐molecular‐weight heparins or heparinoids versus standard unfractionated heparin for acute ischaemic stroke

This version published: 2011; Review content assessed as up-to-date: September 14, 2007.

Plain language summary

The commonest type of stroke is an ischaemic stroke. It is due to a sudden blockage of an artery to the brain. Blood thinning drugs (anticoagulants), including heparin or heparinoids, can help clear blocked arteries, prevent reblockage, and prevent post‐stroke clots in leg veins (deep vein thrombosis) that can be fatal if they travel to the lungs. Anticoagulants can cause harmful bleeding complications. This review included nine trials involving 3137 participants. For patients with ischaemic stroke who need immediate treatment with anticoagulants, evidence from the included clinical trials did not show which type of heparin is best, or how newer heparins (low‐molecular‐weight heparins or heparinoids) compare to standard unfractionated heparin. More research is needed.

Abstract

Background: Low‐molecular‐weight heparins and heparinoids are anticoagulants that may be associated with lower risks of haemorrhage and more powerful antithrombotic effects than standard unfractionated heparin. This is an updated version of the original Cochrane review first published in Issue 1, 1995 and previously updated in Issue 2, 2005.

Objectives: To compare the effects of low‐molecular‐weight heparins or heparinoids with those of unfractionated heparin in people with acute, confirmed or presumed, ischaemic stroke.

Search methods: We searched the Cochrane Stroke Group Trials Register (last searched June 2007). In addition we searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (The Cochrane Library Issue 2, 2007), MEDLINE (1966 to June 2007) and EMBASE (1980 to June 2007). For previous versions of this review we searched MedStrategy (1995) and also contacted pharmaceutical companies.

Selection criteria: Randomised trials comparing heparinoids or low‐molecular‐weight heparins with standard unfractionated heparin in people with acute ischaemic stroke. We only included trials where treatment was started within 14 days of stroke onset.

Data collection and analysis: Two review authors independently selected studies for inclusion, assessed trial quality and extracted the data.

Main results: Nine trials involving 3137 people were included. Four trials compared a heparinoid (danaparoid), four trials compared low‐molecular‐weight heparin (enoxaparin or certoparin), and one trial compared an unspecified low‐molecular‐weight heparin with standard unfractionated heparin. Allocation to low‐molecular‐weight heparin or heparinoid was associated with a significant reduction in the odds of deep vein thrombosis compared with standard unfractionated heparin (odds ratio (OR) 0.55, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.44 to 0.70). However, the number of more major events (pulmonary embolism, death, intracranial or extracranial haemorrhage) was too small to provide a reliable estimate of the benefits and risks of low‐molecular‐weight heparins or heparinoids compared with standard unfractionated heparin for these, arguably more important, outcomes. Insufficient information was available to assess effects on recurrent stroke or functional outcome.

Authors' conclusions: Since the last version of this review none of the three new relevant studies with 2397 participants have provided additional information to change the conclusions. Treatment with a low‐molecular‐weight heparin or heparinoid after acute ischaemic stroke appears to decrease the occurrence of deep vein thrombosis compared with standard unfractionated heparin, but there are too few data to provide reliable information on their effects on other important outcomes, including death and intracranial haemorrhage.

Editorial Group: Cochrane Stroke Group.

Publication status: Edited (no change to conclusions), comment added to review.

Citation: Sandercock PAG, Counsell C, Tseng M. Low‐molecular‐weight heparins or heparinoids versus standard unfractionated heparin for acute ischaemic stroke. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD000119. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD000119.pub3. Link to Cochrane Library. [PubMed: 18646059]

Copyright © 2011 The Cochrane Collaboration. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

PMID: 18646059

PubMed Health Blog...

read all...

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...