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Br J Surg. 1986 Mar;73(3):204-8.

Low molecular weight heparin once daily compared with conventional low-dose heparin twice daily. A prospective double-blind multicentre trial on prevention of postoperative thrombosis.


In a randomized, prospective, double-blind multicentre trial, the effect of conventional low-dose heparin 5000 units twice daily, was compared with that of a low molecular weight heparin fragment (4000-5000) 5000 anti-factor Xa units once daily. Four hundred and thirty-two patients fulfilled the inclusion criteria and were analysed for development of deep vein thrombosis (125I-labelled fibrinogen test) and haemorrhagic complications. Thrombosis occurred in a 4.3 per cent of patients in the low-dose heparin group and in 6.4 per cent of patients in the heparin fragment group, a difference which is not significant. There was a significant delay in the onset of thrombosis in the heparin fragment group. Mortality did not differ between the groups, nor did peroperative blood loss or transfusion requirements or infectious complications. Haemorrhagic complications occurred significantly more often in the fragment group (11.6 per cent) than in the conventional heparin group (4.6 per cent). Patients in the heparin fragment group experienced local pain following the subcutaneous injection significantly less often.

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