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Disadvantages of intravenous therapeutic unfractionated heparin, the first-line anti-coagulant agent in children with complex congenital heart disease, include unpredictable pharmacokinetics requiring frequent phlebotomies and the need for continuous intravenous access.
To compare efficacy and safety of low-molecular-weight heparin administered by a subcutaneous indwelling catheter with intravenous unfractionated heparin.
Materials and methods:
Clinical data from 31 inpatients prospectively enrolled to receive subcutaneous low-molecular-weight heparin were compared with those from a historical group of 44 inpatients receiving intravenous unfractionated heparin. Investigation of parents’ satisfaction by telephone survey.
The percentage of anti-factor Xa levels outside therapeutic range was lower in the subcutaneous low-molecular-weight heparin group compared with the percentage of activated partial thromboplastin times outside therapeutic range in the intravenous unfractionated heparin group (40% versus 90%, p < 0.001). Neither group had a major complication. Transient local reactions occurred in 19% of patients of the subcutaneous low-molecular-weight heparin group. The number of needle punctures and that of placement of indwelling catheters were significantly lower in the subcutaneous low-molecular-weight heparin compared with the intravenous unfractionated heparin group (p < 0.001). In total, 84.2% of parents in the subcutaneous low-molecular-weight heparin group reported a positive experience when asked about comparison with prior intravenous unfractionated heparin treatment.
Subcutaneous low-molecular-weight heparin offers a safe anti-coagulation regimen for children with complex congenital heart disease providing more efficient therapeutic anti-coagulation and a reduction in needle punctures, thus causing less pain and anxiety in this children.
In broad, relatively unselected patients with acute ischaemic stroke, immediate high-dose anticoagulation therapy to avert early stroke progression or recurrence reduces recurrent ischaemic stroke compared with control during the treatment period but this benefit is offset by an increase in intracranial haemorrhage (ICH) and extracranial haemorrhage (ECH). Immediate antiplatelet therapy has similarly efficacy as anticoagulation in averting early stroke progress or recurrence, and is safer when used as an immediate agent (see Chapter 9). In acute ischaemic stroke patients with atrial fibrillation, after start of antiplatelet therapy on presentation, early switchover to anticoagulation therapy 2 -14 days after stroke onset is reasonable, but caution should be taken in certain subgroups of patients with high risk of bleeding. In broad, relatively unselected ischaemic stroke patients, low-dose, venous prophylaxis anticoagulation compared with control reduces the occurrence of asymptomatic deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and shows a tendency to reduce pulmonary embolism, but also shows off-setting tendencies to increase ICH and ECH, without conferring a clear net clinical benefit. Low-molecular-weight heparins (LMWH) or heparinoids, compared with unfractionated heparin, appear to further decrease the occurrence of DVT and PE but potentially further increase ICH, but there are too few data to provide reliable information.
Enoxaparin may be used to prevent central venous catheter-related thrombosis in patients with CHD. We aimed to determine whether current enoxaparin dosing regimens effectively achieve anti-factor Xa concentrations within prophylactic goal ranges in this patient population.
We implemented a formal protocol aimed at reducing central venous catheter-related thrombosis in children with CHD in January, 2016. Standard empiric prophylactic enoxaparin dosing regimens were used – for example, 0.75 mg/kg/dose every 12 hours for patients <2 months of age and 0.5 mg/kg/dose every 12 hours for patients ⩾2 months of age – with anti-factor Xa goal range of 0.25–0.49 IU/ml. Patients <2 years of age who received enoxaparin and had at least one valid steady-state anti-factor Xa measurement between 25 January, 2016 and 31 August, 2016 were retrospectively reviewed.
During the study period, 47 patients had 186 anti-factor Xa concentrations measured, of which 20 (11%) were above and 112 (60%) were below the prophylactic goal range. Anti-factor Xa concentrations within the goal range were ultimately achieved in 31 patients. Median dose required to achieve anti-factor Xa concentrations within the prophylactic range was 0.89 mg/kg/dose (25, 75%: 0.75, 1.11) for patients <2 months (n=23 patients) and 0.79 mg/kg/dose (25, 75%: 0.62, 1.11) for patients ⩾2 months (n=8 patients).
Enoxaparin doses required to achieve prophylactic anti-factor Xa concentrations in young children with CHD were consistently higher than the currently recommended prophylactic dosing regimens. Further study is needed to determine whether dose titration to achieve prophylactic anti-factor Xa concentrations is effective in preventing central venous catheter-related thrombosis.
The most important risk factor for thrombosis in pregnancy is a history of thrombosis. Although both heparin and warfarin are satisfactory for use postpartum, including in women who are breastfeeding, many women prefer to use low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) (with once-daily dosing postpartum) because they have become accustomed to its administration and because they can avoid the monitoring associated with coumarin therapy. With massive life-threatening pulmonary thromboembolism (PE), the pregnant woman needs emergency assessment by a multidisciplinary team of obstetricians, surgeons, and radiologists, who should decide rapidly on appropriate treatment ranging from intravenous unfractionated heparin (UFH) to systemic thrombolysis, catheter thrombolysis or embolectomy, or surgical embolectomy. Women are at an increased risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE), during pregnancy. In anticipation of delivery, surgery, or other invasive procedures, anticoagulation should be manipulated to reduce the risk of bleeding complications while minimizing the risk of thrombosis.
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