Randomized Placebo-Controlled Study of Low-Dose Warfarin for the Prevention of Central Venous Catheter–Associated Thrombosis in Patients With Cancer
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PURPOSE: In this multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial, we studied whether warfarin 1 mg daily reduces the incidence of symptomatic central venous catheter (CVC) -associated thrombosis in patients with cancer. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Two hundred fifty-five patients with cancer who required a CVC for at least 7 days were randomly assigned to receive warfarin 1 mg or placebo. RESULTS: There were 11 (4.3%) symptomatic CVC-associated thromboses among 255 patients, with no difference in the incidence of symptomatic CVC-associated thrombosis between patients taking warfarin 1 mg daily (six of 130 patients; 4.6%) and patients taking placebo (five of 125 patients; 4.0%; hazard ratio, 1.20; 95% CI, 0.37 to 3.94). Warfarin had no effect on CVC life span (84 days v 63 days in control and warfarin groups, respectively; 95% confidence limit, -16 to 55 days; P = .09), and it did not affect the number of premature CVC removals (23.2% v 25.4% in control and warfarin groups, respectively; 95% confidence limit of difference -8.34 to 12.71; P = .68) or the frequency of major bleeding episodes (2% v 0% in control and warfarin groups, respectively; P = .5, Fisher's exact test). CONCLUSION: Symptomatic CVC-associated thrombosis in patients with cancer, although significant, is less common than previously reported. In this study, the administration of warfarin 1 mg daily did not reduce the incidence of symptomatic CVC-associated thrombosis in patients with cancer. However, the low rate of symptomatic CVC-associated thrombosis means that a much larger trial is required to address this issue definitively.
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