A Low-Molecular-Weight Heparinoid Compared with Unfractionated Heparin in the Prevention of Deep Vein Thrombosis in Patients with Acute Ischemic Stroke
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OBJECTIVE: To compare the relative safety and efficacy of a low-molecular-weight heparinoid (ORG 10172) with unfractionated heparin in the prevention of deep vein thrombosis in patients with acute ischemic stroke. DESIGN: Double-blind randomized trial. SETTING: Seven Canadian university-affiliated hospitals. PARTICIPANTS: Eighty-seven patients with acute ischemic stroke resulting in lower-limb paresis. INTERVENTION: Patients received either low-molecular-weight heparinoid, 750 anti-factor Xa units twice daily, or unfractionated heparin, 5000 units subcutaneously twice daily. Treatment was continued for 14 days or until hospital discharge if sooner. MEASUREMENTS: Deep vein thrombosis was diagnosed using 125I-labeled fibrinogen leg scanning and impedance plethysmography. Venography was indicated if either test was positive. Overt hemorrhage, major or minor, was assessed clinically. RESULTS: Venous thrombosis occurred in four patients (9%) given low-molecular-weight heparinoid and in 13 patients (31%) given heparin (relative risk reduction, 71%; 95% CI, 16% to 93%. The corresponding rates for proximal vein thrombosis were 4% and 12%, respectively (relative risk reduction, 63%; P greater than 0.2). The incidence of hemorrhage was 2% in both groups. CONCLUSION: Low-molecular-weight heparinoid, given in a fixed dose of 750 anti-factor Xa units subcutaneously twice daily, is more effective than subcutaneous low-dose heparin for the prevention of deep vein thrombosis in patients with acute ischemic stroke.