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Thromb Res. 2012 Mar;129(3):388-91. doi: 10.1016/j.thromres.2011.11.008. Epub 2011 Dec 2.

Old and new heparins.

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Dept. Angiology and Blood Coagulation Marino Golinelli, University Hospital S. Orsola-Malpighi, Bologna, Italy.


Heparin is an effective, relatively safe, inexpensive parenteral antithrombotic agent widely used in the prevention and treatment of thromboembolic disorders, but it has several limitations such as the marked intra- and inter-patient variability in its anticoagulant response, its poor bioavailability at low doses and its relatively narrow risk to benefit ratio. Low molecular weight heparins ( LMWHs), ultra LMWHs and synthetic pentasaccharides have been developed from heparin to overcome its limitations. The characteristics of these compounds are reviewed along with the description of their approved clinical uses.

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