0
Original Research: ANTITHROMBOTIC THERAPY |

How Frequently Is Venous Thromboembolism in Heparin-Treated Patients Associated With Heparin-Induced Thrombocytopenia?

Robert L. Levine, MD, FCCP; David McCollum, MS; Marcie J. Hursting, PhD
Author and Funding Information

*From the Departments of Neurosurgery and Emergency Medicine (Dr. Levine), The University of Texas School of Medicine at Houston, Houston, TX; Statistics and Data Management (Mr. McCollum), CTI Clinical Trial and Consulting Services, Blue Ash, OH; and Thrombosis and Hemostasis (Dr. Hursting), Clinical Science Consulting, Austin, TX.

Correspondence to: Robert L. Levine, MD, FCCP, The University of Texas School of Medicine at Houston, 6431 Fannin, MSB 7.142, Houston, TX 77030; e-mail: rlevine@uth.tmc.edu



Chest. 2006;130(3):681-687. doi:10.1378/chest.130.3.681
Text Size: A A A
Published online

Background: Patients receiving heparin for thromboprophylaxis or treatment may have new or recurrent venous thromboembolism (VTE) if immune-mediated heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) occurs or for other reasons, eg, if anticoagulation fails. We estimated from the literature how frequently a patient presenting with VTE during or following heparin therapy has HIT-associated VTE.

Methods: A comprehensive, systematic literature search was conducted to identify studies using unfractionated or low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) for thromboprophylaxis or treatment in which new or recurrent VTE and serologically confirmed HIT were reported. From extracted study data, the proportion of patients with HIT-associated VTE relative to any VTE was calculated by heparin type and mode of administration.

Results: We identified 10 studies, some with multiple arms, that used unfractionated heparin (IV administration, 5 studies; subcutaneous administration, 3 studies) or subcutaneous LMWH (5 studies) and met analysis criteria. Across these studies, 386 of 6,219 heparin-treated patients had VTE, including 32 patients who also had HIT. The frequency of HIT-associated VTE among heparin-treated patients with VTE was comparable between IV and subcutaneous unfractionated heparin therapy (13.2% [17 of 129 patients] vs 12.4% [14 of 113 patients]; odds ratio, 1.07; 95% confidence interval, 0.50 to 2.3; p > 0.99) yet significantly different between unfractionated heparin and LMWH therapy (12.8% [31 of 242 patients] vs 0.7% [1 of 144 patients]; odds ratio, 21.0; 95% confidence interval, 2.8 to 156; p < 0.001).

Conclusions: VTE is associated with HIT infrequently (< 1%) in LMWH-treated patients, yet often (approximately one in eight cases) in unfractionated heparin-treated patients. Physicians should suspect the possibility of HIT if VTE develops during or soon after unfractionated heparin use; if thrombocytopenia is present, alternative anticoagulation should be used until HIT is excluded.


Sign In to Access Full Content

MEMBER & INDIVIDUAL SUBSCRIBER

Want Access?

NEW TO CHEST?

Become a CHEST member and receive a FREE subscription as a benefit of membership.

Individuals can purchase this article on ScienceDirect.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal or buy individual articles.

Learn more about membership or Purchase a Full Subscription.

INSTITUTIONAL ACCESS

Institutional access is now available through ScienceDirect and can be purchased at myelsevier.com.

Sign In to Access Full Content

MEMBER & INDIVIDUAL SUBSCRIBER

Want Access?

NEW TO CHEST?

Become a CHEST member and receive a FREE subscription as a benefit of membership.

Individuals can purchase this article on ScienceDirect.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal or buy individual articles.

Learn more about membership or Purchase a Full Subscription.

INSTITUTIONAL ACCESS

Institutional access is now available through ScienceDirect and can be purchased at myelsevier.com.

Figures

Tables

References

NOTE:
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign In to Access Full Content

MEMBER & INDIVIDUAL SUBSCRIBER

Want Access?

NEW TO CHEST?

Become a CHEST member and receive a FREE subscription as a benefit of membership.

Individuals can purchase this article on ScienceDirect.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal or buy individual articles.

Learn more about membership or Purchase a Full Subscription.

INSTITUTIONAL ACCESS

Institutional access is now available through ScienceDirect and can be purchased at myelsevier.com.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

CHEST Journal Articles
PubMed Articles
Pentasaccharides for the prevention of venous thromboembolism. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2016;10():CD005134.
Heparin for the treatment of thrombosis in neonates. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2016;11():CD012185.
  • CHEST Journal
    Print ISSN: 0012-3692
    Online ISSN: 1931-3543