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J Thromb Thrombolysis. 2016 Aug;42(2):179-85. doi: 10.1007/s11239-016-1347-2.

Intravenous heparin dosing strategy in hospitalized patients with atrial dysrhythmias.

Author information

1
The Leon H. Charney Division of Cardiology, The Department of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, 550 First Ave, NBV 10W17, New York, NY, 10016, USA. roswer01@nyumc.org.
2
The Leon H. Charney Division of Cardiology, The Department of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, 550 First Ave, NBV 10W17, New York, NY, 10016, USA.

Abstract

Patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF) have an elevated stroke risk that is 2-7 times greater than in those without AF. Intravenous unfractionated heparin (UFH) is commonly used for hospitalized patients with atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter (AFL) to prevent stroke. Dosing strategies exist for intravenous anticoagulation in patients with acute coronary syndromes and venous thromboembolic diseases, but there are no data to guide providers on a dosing strategy for intravenous anticoagulation in patients with AF/AFL. 996 hospitalized patients with AF/AFL on UFH were evaluated. Bolus dosing and initial infusion rates of UFH were recorded along with rates of stroke, thromboemobolic events, and bleeding events as defined by the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis criteria. Among 226 patients included in the analysis, 76 bleeding events occurred. Using linear regression analysis, initial rates of heparin infusion ranging from 9.7 to 11.8 units/kilogram/hour (U/kg/h) resulted in activated partial thromboplastin times that were within therapeutic range. The median initial infusion rate in patients with bleeding was 13.3 U/kg/h, while in those without bleeding it was 11.4 U/kg/h; p = 0.012. An initial infusion rate >11.0 U/kg/h yielded an OR 1.95 (1.06-3.59); p = 0.03 for any bleeding event. Using IV heparin boluses neither increased the probability of attaining a therapeutic aPTT (56.1 vs 56.3 %; p = 0.99) nor did it significantly increase bleeding events in the study (35.7 vs 31.3 %; p = 0.48). The results suggest that higher initial rates of heparin are associated with increased bleeding risk. From this dataset, initial heparin infusion rates of 9.7-11.0 U/kg/h without a bolus can result in therapeutic levels of anticoagulation in hospitalized patients with AF/AFL without increasing the risk of bleeding.

KEYWORDS:

Atrial fibrillation; Bleeding; Cardiology-arrhythmia; Heparin; Stroke

PMID:
26951166
DOI:
10.1007/s11239-016-1347-2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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