Guidance for the practical management of the heparin anticoagulants in the treatment of venous thromboembolism.
ABSTRACT: Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a serious and often fatal medical condition with an increasing incidence. Despite the changing landscape of VTE treatment with the introduction of the new direct oral anticoagulants many uncertainties remain regarding the optimal use of traditional parenteral agents. This manuscript, initiated by the Anticoagulation Forum, provides clinical guidance based on existing guidelines and consensus expert opinion where guidelines are lacking. This specific chapter addresses the practical management of heparins including low molecular weight heparins and fondaparinux. For each anticoagulant a list of the most common practice related questions were created. Each question was addressed using a brief focused literature review followed by a multidisciplinary consensus guidance recommendation. Issues addressed included initial anticoagulant dosing recommendations, recommended baseline laboratory monitoring, managing dose adjustments, evidence to support a relationship between laboratory tests and meaningful clinical outcomes, special patient populations including extremes of weight and renal impairment, duration of necessary parenteral therapy during the transition to oral therapy, candidates for outpatient treatment where appropriate and management of over-anticoagulation and adverse effects including bleeding and heparin induced thrombocytopenia. This article concludes with a concise table of clinical management questions and guidance recommendations to provide a quick reference for the practical management of heparin, low molecular weight heparin and fondaparinux.
Project description:Whether anticoagulation management practices are associated with improved outcomes in elderly patients with acute venous thromboembolism (VTE) is uncertain. Thus, we aimed to examine whether practices recommended by the American College of Chest Physicians guidelines are associated with outcomes in elderly patients with VTE. We studied 991 patients aged ≥65 years with acute VTE in a Swiss prospective multicenter cohort study and assessed the adherence to four management practices: parenteral anticoagulation ≥5 days, INR ≥2.0 for ≥24 hours before stopping parenteral anticoagulation, early start with vitamin K antagonists (VKA) ≤24 hours of VTE diagnosis, and the use of low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) or fondaparinux. The outcomes were all-cause mortality, VTE recurrence, and major bleeding at 6 months, and the length of hospital stay (LOS). We used Cox regression and lognormal survival models, adjusting for patient characteristics. Overall, 9% of patients died, 3% had VTE recurrence, and 7% major bleeding. Early start with VKA was associated with a lower risk of major bleeding (adjusted hazard ratio 0.37, 95% CI 0.20-0.71). Early start with VKA (adjusted time ratio [TR] 0.77, 95% CI 0.69-0.86) and use of LMWH/fondaparinux (adjusted TR 0.87, 95% CI 0.78-0.97) were associated with a shorter LOS. An INR ≥2.0 for ≥24 hours before stopping parenteral anticoagulants was associated with a longer LOS (adjusted TR 1.2, 95% CI 1.08-1.33). In elderly patients with VTE, the adherence to recommended anticoagulation management practices showed mixed results. In conclusion, only early start with VKA and use of parenteral LMWH/fondaparinux were associated with better outcomes.
Project description:Venous thromboembolism (VTE), encompassing deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, represents a major cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with cancer. Low molecular weight heparins are the preferred option for anticoagulation in cancer patients according to current clinical practice guidelines. Fondaparinux may also have a place in prevention of VTE in hospitalized cancer patients with additional risk factors and for initial treatment of VTE. Although low molecular weight heparins and fondaparinux are effective and safe, they require daily subcutaneous administration, which may be problematic for many patients, particularly if long-term treatment is needed. Studying anticoagulant therapy in oncology patients is challenging because this patient group has an increased risk of VTE and bleeding during anticoagulant therapy compared with the population without cancer. Risk factors for increased VTE and bleeding risk in these patients include concomitant treatments (surgery, chemotherapy, placement of central venous catheters, radiotherapy, hormonal therapy, angiogenesis inhibitors, antiplatelet drugs), supportive therapies (ie, steroids, blood transfusion, white blood cell growth factors, and erythropoiesis-stimulating agents), and tumor-related factors (local vessel damage and invasion, abnormalities in platelet function, and number). New anticoagulants in development for prophylaxis and treatment of VTE include parenteral compounds for once-daily administration (ie, semuloparin) or once-weekly dosing (ie, idraparinux and idrabiotaparinux), as well as orally active compounds (ie, dabigatran, rivaroxaban, apixaban, edoxaban, betrixaban). In the present review, we discuss the pharmacology of the new anticoagulants, the results of clinical trials testing these new compounds in VTE, with special emphasis on studies that included cancer patients, and their potential advantages and drawbacks compared with existing therapies.
Project description:Background ?The noninterventional XALIA study compared rivaroxaban with standard anticoagulation for deep vein thrombosis treatment. This substudy describes the demographics, clinical characteristics, and outcomes of the patients with cancer. Methods ?Therapy type, dose, and duration were at the physician's discretion. The cohorts identified were rivaroxaban (rivaroxaban alone or after heparin or fondaparinux for ?48 hours); early switchers (rivaroxaban after heparin or fondaparinux for >48 hours to 14 days and/or a vitamin K antagonist [VKA] for 1-14 days); standard anticoagulation (heparin or fondaparinux and a VKA); low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) alone; and miscellaneous (other heparins, fondaparinux alone, VKA alone). Primary outcomes were major bleeding, recurrent venous thromboembolism, and all-cause mortality. Results ?In XALIA, 587 patients (11.4% of the XALIA cohort) were with cancer: 146 (24.9%) rivaroxaban, 30 (5.1%) early switchers, 141 (24.0%) standard anticoagulation, 223 (38.0%) LMWH, and 47 (8.0%) miscellaneous. Patients with gastrointestinal or lung cancer more commonly received LMWH than rivaroxaban; the opposite occurred in patients with breast or genitourinary cancer. Rates of primary outcome in the rivaroxaban group were as follows: major bleeding, 1.4% ( n ?=?2); recurrent venous thromboembolism, 3.4% ( n ?=?5); and all-cause mortality, 4.8% ( n ?=?7). Conclusion ?In XALIA, physicians treated cancer-associated thrombosis with various anticoagulant regimens, most commonly LMWH. In addition, the choice of anticoagulant varied with cancer type. In rivaroxaban-treated patients, rates for the primary outcomes were low, suggesting that patients administered rivaroxaban were a good prognosis group.
Project description:This article addresses the treatment of VTE disease.We generated strong (Grade 1) and weak (Grade 2) recommendations based on high-quality (Grade A), moderate-quality (Grade B), and low-quality (Grade C) evidence.For acute DVT or pulmonary embolism (PE), we recommend initial parenteral anticoagulant therapy (Grade 1B) or anticoagulation with rivaroxaban. We suggest low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) or fondaparinux over IV unfractionated heparin (Grade 2C) or subcutaneous unfractionated heparin (Grade 2B). We suggest thrombolytic therapy for PE with hypotension (Grade 2C). For proximal DVT or PE, we recommend treatment of 3 months over shorter periods (Grade 1B). For a first proximal DVT or PE that is provoked by surgery or by a nonsurgical transient risk factor, we recommend 3 months of therapy (Grade 1B; Grade 2B if provoked by a nonsurgical risk factor and low or moderate bleeding risk); that is unprovoked, we suggest extended therapy if bleeding risk is low or moderate (Grade 2B) and recommend 3 months of therapy if bleeding risk is high (Grade 1B); and that is associated with active cancer, we recommend extended therapy (Grade 1B; Grade 2B if high bleeding risk) and suggest LMWH over vitamin K antagonists (Grade 2B). We suggest vitamin K antagonists or LMWH over dabigatran or rivaroxaban (Grade 2B). We suggest compression stockings to prevent the postthrombotic syndrome (Grade 2B). For extensive superficial vein thrombosis, we suggest prophylactic-dose fondaparinux or LMWH over no anticoagulation (Grade 2B), and suggest fondaparinux over LMWH (Grade 2C).Strong recommendations apply to most patients, whereas weak recommendations are sensitive to differences among patients, including their preferences.
Project description:Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a disease state that carries significant morbidity and mortality, and is a known cause of preventable death in hospitalized and orthopedic surgical patients. There are many identifiable risk factors for VTE, yet up to half of VTE incident cases have no identifiable risk factor and carry a high likelihood of recurrence, which may warrant extended therapy. For many years, parenteral unfractionated heparin, low-molecular weight heparin, fondaparinux, and oral vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) have been the standard of care in VTE management. However, limitations in current drug therapy options have led to suboptimal treatment, so there has been a need for rapid-onset, fixed-dosing novel oral anticoagulants in both VTE treatment and prophylaxis. Oral VKAs have historically been challenging to use in clinical practice, with their narrow therapeutic range, unpredictable dose responsiveness, and many drug-drug and drug-food interactions. As such, there has also been a need for novel anticoagulant therapies with fewer limitations, which has recently been met. Dabigatran etexilate is a fixed-dose oral direct thrombin inhibitor available for use in acute and extended treatment of VTE, as well as prophylaxis in high-risk orthopedic surgical patients. In this review, the risks and overall benefits of dabigatran in VTE management are addressed, with special emphasis on clinical trial data and their application to general clinical practice and special patient populations. Current and emerging therapies in the management of VTE and monitoring of dabigatran anticoagulant-effect reversal are also discussed.
Project description:Heparins and vitamin K antagonists have been the primary agents used for anticoagulation in certain cardiovascular and thromboembolic diseases for over 50 years. However, they can be difficult to administer and are fraught with limitations. In response to the need for new anticoagulants, direct thrombin inhibitors (DTIs) have been developed and investigated for their utility in prophylaxis and treatment of venous thromboembolism (VTE), heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT), acute coronary syndromes (ACS), secondary prevention of coronary events after ACS, and nonvalvular atrial fibrillation. Currently, four parenteral direct inhibitors of thrombin activity are FDA-approved in North America: lepirudin, desirudin, bivalirudin and argatroban. Of the new oral DTIs, dabigatran etexilate is the most studied and promising of these agents. This review discusses the clinical indications and efficacy of these direct thrombin inhibitors as well as future directions in anticoagulant therapy.
Project description:Patients with cancer who develop venous thromboembolism (VTE) are at elevated risk for recurrent thrombotic events, even during anticoagulant therapy. The clinical picture is further complicated because these patients are also at increased risk of bleeding while on anticoagulants. In general, there are four key goals of treatment for VTE: preventing fatal pulmonary embolism (PE); reducing short-term morbidities associated with acute leg or lung thrombus; preventing recurrent VTE; and preventing the long-term sequelae of VTE (e.g., post-thrombotic syndrome and chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension). A fifth goal - minimising the risk for bleeding while on anticoagulation - is particularly warranted in patients with cancer. Traditionally, pharmacological treatment of VTE has two phases, with the transition between phases marked by a switch from a rapid-acting, parenterally administered anticoagulant (such as unfractionated heparin (UFH), low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH), or fondaparinux) to an oral vitamin K antagonist (e.g., warfarin). Recent clinical trials of established agents and the advent of new pharmacological options are changing this paradigm. Low-molecular-weight heparin continued for 6 months is more effective than warfarin in the secondary prevention of VTE in cancer patients without increasing the risk of bleeding and is now the preferred treatment option. Given the impact of VTE on short-term and long-term outcomes in patients with cancer, a group of health-care providers based in the United Kingdom gathered in London in 2009 to discuss recent data on cancer-associated thrombosis and to evaluate how these recommendations can be integrated or translated into UK clinical practice. This article, which is the third of four articles covering key topics in cancer thrombosis, focuses on treatment and secondary prevention of VTE in cancer patients.
Project description:Heparin, a commonly used anticoagulant drug, is a mixture of highly sulfated polysaccharides with various molecular weights (MWs). The unique sulfation pattern dictates the anticoagulant activity of heparin. Commercial heparins are categorized into three forms according to their average MW: unfractionated heparin (UFH, MWavg 14,000), low-MW heparin (LMWH, MWavg 3500-6500) and the synthetic pentasaccharide (fondaparinux, MW 1508.3). UFH is isolated from porcine intestine while LMWH is derived from UFH by various methods of depolymerization, which generate a wide range of oligosaccharide chain lengths. Different degradation methods result in structurally distinct LMWH products, displaying different pharmacological and pharmacokinetic properties. In this report, we utilized a chemoenzymatic method to synthesize LMWH with the emphasis on controlling the size distribution of the oligosaccharides. A tetrasaccharide primer and a controlled enzyme-based polymerization were employed to build a narrow size oligosaccharide backbone. The oligosaccharide backbones were further modified by a series of sulfation and epimerization steps in order to obtain a full anticoagulation activity. Determination of the anticoagulation activity in vitro and ex vivo indicated that the synthetic LMWH has higher potency than enoxaparin, a commercial LMWH drug in clinical usage.
Project description:This article describes the pharmacology of approved parenteral anticoagulants. These include the indirect anticoagulants, unfractionated heparin (UFH), low-molecular-weight heparins (LMWHs), fondaparinux, and danaparoid, as well as the direct thrombin inhibitors hirudin, bivalirudin, and argatroban. UFH is a heterogeneous mixture of glycosaminoglycans that bind to antithrombin via a unique pentasaccharide sequence and catalyze the inactivation of thrombin, factor Xa, and other clotting enzymes. Heparin also binds to cells and plasma proteins other than antithrombin causing unpredictable pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties and triggering nonhemorrhagic side effects, such as heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) and osteoporosis. LMWHs have greater inhibitory activity against factor Xa than thrombin and exhibit less binding to cells and plasma proteins than heparin. Consequently, LMWH preparations have more predictable pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties, have a longer half-life than heparin, and are associated with a lower risk of nonhemorrhagic side effects. LMWHs can be administered once daily or bid by subcutaneous injection, without coagulation monitoring. Based on their greater convenience, LMWHs have replaced UFH for many clinical indications. Fondaparinux, a synthetic pentasaccharide, catalyzes the inhibition of factor Xa, but not thrombin, in an antithrombin-dependent fashion. Fondaparinux binds only to antithrombin. Therefore, fondaparinux-associated HIT or osteoporosis is unlikely to occur. Fondaparinux exhibits complete bioavailability when administered subcutaneously, has a longer half-life than LMWHs, and is given once daily by subcutaneous injection in fixed doses, without coagulation monitoring. Three additional parenteral direct thrombin inhibitors and danaparoid are approved as alternatives to heparin in patients with HIT.
Project description:Ultralow molecular weight (ULMW) heparins are sulfated glycans that are clinically used to treat thrombotic disorders. ULMW heparins range from 1500 to 3000 daltons, corresponding from 5 to 10 saccharide units. The commercial drug Arixtra (fondaparinux sodium) is a structurally homogeneous ULMW heparin pentasaccharide that is synthesized through a lengthy chemical process. Here, we report 10- and 12-step chemoenzymatic syntheses of two structurally homogeneous ULMW heparins (MW = 1778.5 and 1816.5) in 45 and 37% overall yield, respectively, starting from a simple disaccharide. These ULMW heparins display excellent in vitro anticoagulant activity and comparable pharmacokinetic properties to Arixtra, as demonstrated in a rabbit model. The chemoenzymatic approach is scalable and shows promise for a more efficient route to synthesize this important class of medicinal agent.