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Am J Hematol. 2004 Oct;77(2):177-86.

Home prothrombin time monitoring: a literature analysis.

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Department of Pathology, University of Utah Health Sciences Center, Salt Lake City, Utah 84132, USA.


The anticoagulant activity of warfarin sodium is monitored by the prothrombin time (PT) using the international normalized ratio (INR). Standard oral anticoagulant therapy monitoring requires frequent patient visits to physicians' offices and/or laboratories to optimize warfarin dosage. Home PT monitoring by patients can increase testing frequency and may thus decrease complications associated with oral anticoagulant therapy. Clinical studies suggest that home PT monitoring is more effective than uncoordinated management and is as effective as care through specialized anticoagulation clinics for keeping INRs within a therapeutic range. There are accurate and reliable instruments available, but paramount to the success of home PT monitoring is sound patient selection, appropriate patient training, and consistent quality control.

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