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Ann Pharmacother. 2005 Jul-Aug;39(7-8):1275-85. Epub 2005 Jun 14.

Anticoagulation monitoring part 2: Unfractionated heparin and low-molecular-weight heparin.

Author information

1
Cardiovascular Division, Department of Medicine, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA. s.spinle@usip.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To review the availability, mechanisms, limitations, and clinical application of point-of-care (POC) devices used in monitoring anticoagulation with unfractionated heparin (UFH) and low-molecular-weight heparins (LMWHs).

DATA SOURCES:

Articles were identified through a MEDLINE search (1966-August 2004), device manufacturer Web sites, additional references listed in articles and Web sites, and abstracts from scientific meetings.

STUDY SELECTION AND DATA EXTRACTION:

English-language literature from clinical trials was reviewed to evaluate the accuracy, reliability, and clinical application of POC monitoring devices.

DATA SYNTHESIS:

The activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) and activated clotting time (ACT) are common tests for monitoring anticoagulation with UFH. Multiple devices are available for POC aPTT, ACT, and heparin concentration testing. The aPTT therapeutic range for UFH will vary depending upon the reagent and instrument employed. Although recommended by the American College of Chest Physicians Seventh Conference on Antithrombotic and Thrombolytic Therapy, establishing a heparin concentration-derived therapeutic range for UFH is rarely performed. Additional research evaluating anti-factor Xa monitoring of LMWHs using POC testing is necessary.

CONCLUSIONS:

Multiple POC devices are available to monitor anticoagulation with UFH. For each test, there is some variability in results between devices and between reagents used in the same device. Despite these limitations, POC anticoagulation monitoring of UFH using aPTT and, more often, ACT is common in clinical practice, particularly when evaluating anticoagulation associated with interventional cardiology procedures and cardiopulmonary bypass surgery.

PMID:
15956240
DOI:
10.1345/aph.1E524
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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