Respiration 2013 9;86(4):318-23. Epub 2013 Feb 9.
Department of Pulmonary Diseases, Ataturk University School of Medicine, Erzurum, Turkey.
Background: There is no data on the use of subcutaneous low-molecular-weight heparin (SC LMWH) in cases that require thrombolysis.
Objective: Having used SC LMWH with thrombolytics for more than 10 years, we aimed to review our data, share our experiences and find out whether the use of SC LMWH with thrombolytics had been effective and safe.
Method: This is a retrospective cohort study. Patients who were diagnosed as acute pulmonary embolism (PE) and received either SC LMWH treatment or SC LMWH with thrombolytics in our hospital (a tertiary hospital) between 2000 and 2010 were included in the study. For both treatments, the rates of mortality and complications were calculated.
Results: A total of 392 patients, 210 female (53.5%) and 182 male (46.5%) with an average age of 60 years, ±16 SD, with acute PE, were included in the study. Of these patients, 107 (27.2%) were massive and 285 (72.8%) were nonmassive and were administered SC LMWH plus thrombolytics and only SC LMWH, respectively. The mortality rate was 16.8% (18 of 107) in patients who were massive and 3.5% (10 of 285) for those who were nonmassive (p < 0.001). Major hemorrhage occurred in 3.7% (n = 4) and 0.7% (n = 2) and minor hemorrhage in 12.1% (n = 13) and in 3.8% (n = 11) of the cases who received SC LMWH plus thrombolytics and SC LMWH, respectively.
Conclusion: SC LMWH use with thrombolytics seems to be feasible and safe. Prospective, large, randomized control trials are still required in order to confirm these results.