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Arterial indications for the low molecular weight heparins

Author(s): Ageno Walter | Huisman Menno

Journal: Current Controlled Trials in Cardiovascular Medicine
ISSN 1468-6708

Volume: 2;
Issue: 5;
Start page: 233;
Date: 2001;
Original page

Keywords: acute coronary syndrome | low molecular weight heparin | stroke | treatment

Abstract Antithrombotic treatment is of proven importance in patients with acute coronary syndromes. There is now accumulating evidence from several clinical trials in patients with unstable angina pectoris that the low molecular weight heparins (LMWHs) are at least as effective as unfractionated heparin. The LMWHs are easier to use, with the potential to facilitate long-term outpatient treatment. The results of the trials have actually failed to show any clear advantage, however, of the LMWHs over the standard antiplatelet treatment, despite the evidence of a sustained hypercoagulability. Potentially, the use of higher doses of LMWHs could improve the outcomes, but this is as yet unproven and could be associated with unacceptably increased risk of bleeding. During the acute phase of a stroke, aspirin is the first choice of antithrombotic drug because it reduces the risk of recurrent stroke. LMWH cannot be recommended as an antithrombotic agent for the acute treatment of stroke. Prophylactic use of low dose LMWH for the prevention of venous thromboembolism should be considered in every patient with a stroke.
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