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Bone Marrow Transplant. 2001 Mar;27(6):627-33.

Retrospective multivariate analysis of hepatic veno-occlusive disease after blood or marrow transplantation: possible beneficial use of low molecular weight heparin.

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Department of Medicine, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY 14263, USA.


This retrospective cohort study of 462 consecutive adult allogeneic and autologous blood or marrow transplantation (BMT) patients compared the incidence of hepatic veno-occlusive disease (VOD) after BMT with three prophylactic regimens. Patients receiving heparin (Hep), heparin + prostaglandin E1 (Hep + PGE1) or low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) as a prophylactic VOD regimen were compared to a historical cohort receiving no VOD prophylaxis. Of 462 BMT patients, VOD was diagnosed in 22% (31 of 142) of the no prophylaxis group, 11% (11 of 104) of the Hep, 12% (13 of 110) in the Hep + PGE1 and 4% (four of 106) of the LMWH group (P = 0.0002). VOD was the primary cause of death in 20% (12 of 59). By multivariate logistic regression, independent risk factors for developing VOD were: no VOD prophylactic regimen, unrelated allogeneic BMT, Karnofsky performance score (KPS) < 80 and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) > or =50 U/l. There was no increase in the rate of death due to hemorrhagic events or VOD in any prophylaxis group compared to the control group. Prospective randomized trials of Hep vs LMWH vs placebo are warranted to assess the efficacy of heparin compounds in the prevention of VOD.

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