Document Type

Article

Department

Medicine; Neurology

Abstract

Objective: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of subcutaneous heparin for deep venous thrombosis (DVT) prophylaxis in patients with intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH) during acute phase in comparison to elastic stockings.

Methods: The diagnosis of ICH was based on imaging (CT or MRI) and DVT was based on Doppler ultrasound.

Results: A total of 458 patients were identified over a period of 5 years (1997-2001). Median age was 59 years (range:12-99 years). Two hundred (44%) patients received heparin (heparin group) in addition to elastic stockings and 258 (56%) patients were only given elastic stockings (stockings group). These two groups were not randomized. Heparin was administered subcutaneously (SQ) in doses of 2500-5000 international units twice daily. Two groups were matched for age (p=0.5), sex (p=0.28), presence of diabetes mellitus (p=0.14), cigarette smoking (p=0.045) and presence of hydrocephalus or midline shift on CT/MRI (p= 0.87). One patient developed DVT in control group while none developed DVT in heparin group (p=0.18). One patient had worsening of ICH on repeat CT scan in Heparin group. This worsening was non fatal. Systemic haemorrhagic complications (non fatal) were seen in 7 (14%) patients receiving heparin. Twenty five patients (12%) in heparin group and 52 (20%) in control group died (p=0.02).

Conclusion: Subcutaneous heparin in doses of 2500-5000 units twice daily during acute phase in patients with ICH may be safe for DVT prophylaxis. It was not superior to elastic stockings in a non-randomized comparison to prevent DVT (JPMA 58:362;2008).

Publication

Journal of Pakistan Medical Association

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