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THE JOURNAL OF CARDIOVASCULAR SURGERY

A Journal on Cardiac, Vascular and Thoracic Surgery


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The Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery 2002 August;43(4):495-500

language: English

Low molecular weight heparins in the long-term treatment of venous thromboembolism

Liapis C. D., Daskalopoulos M. E., Daskalopoulou S. E.

2nd Department of Propedeutic Surgery, Athens University Medical School, Laiko Hospital, Athens, Greece


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Low molec­ular ­weight hep­a­rins (­LMWHs) ­have exten­sively ­replaced unfrac­tion­ated hep­arin (UFH) in ­both throm­bo­proph­y­laxis and ­initial treat­ment of ­venous throm­boem­bo­lism (VTE) and ­their use for ­such indi­ca­tions is now ­well estab­lished. ­This ­paper ­reviews the ­role of ­LMWHs in the ­long-­term treat­ment of VTE. ­Venous throm­bosis, ­although a ­very fre­quent occur­rence in ­everyday prac­tice, ­still ­remains con­tro­ver­sial in its treat­ment. Avail­able lit­er­a­ture com­paring dif­ferent ­LMWHs ­with UFH and ­oral anti­co­ag­u­lants (OAs) is pre­sented. Com­par­ison and eval­u­a­tion of the effec­tive­ness, ­safety and ­costs of alter­na­tive treat­ments are ­also ­made. The dif­fer­ences of var­ious ­LMWHs are dis­cussed and the ­need for sep­arate clin­ical ­trials for ­every ­single ­LMWH is high­lighted.

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