Discordance between the anti-Xa activity and the antithrombotic activity of an ultra-low molecular weight heparin fraction
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The relationship between the in vivo antithrombotic effect of heparin and ex vivo anti-Xa activity has been investigated using an animal thrombosis model. Three low molecular weight heparins were compared with the standard heparin from which they were fractionated. All four heparins showed a dose-dependent antithrombotic effect enabling the relative antithrombotic and anti-Xa activities to be compared over a dosage range. A correlation between ex vivo anti-Xa heparin levels and antithrombotic effect was demonstrated for the standard (MW 16,000), intermediate (MW 7,600) and low (MW 4,600) molecular weight heparins but not for the ultra-low molecular weight (MW 3,000) fraction. The lack of relationship between anti-Xa activity and inhibition of thrombosis for the very low molecular weight fraction indicates that a very high anti-Xa activity (measured in vitro or ex vivo) is not always predictive of in vivo antithrombotic efficacy. These findings suggest that other properties of low molecular weight heparins contribute to their antithrombotic effectiveness.
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