Subcutaneous (s.c.) body-weight adjusted as well as fixed dose low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) for treatment of acute venous thromboembolism (VTE) has been proven to be at least as effective and safe as intravenous unfractionated heparin (UFH). We hypothesized that the anticoagulant effects of LMWH may accumulate during a 9 days fixed dose therapy in patients with acute VTE.
Ten patients received 8,000 IU LMWH certoparin bid s.c. for 9±1 days after having given written informed consent. The local ethics committee accepted the study protocol. Serial blood and urine were collected at days 2 and 9 and daily before and after the morning administration of the anticoagulant. The pharmacodynamic parameters were analysed on the anti-factor Xa S2222 method (aXa), heptest, thrombin generation inhibition assay (TGIA), and tissue factor pathway inhibitor activity (TFPI). The area under the activity time curves (AUC) of the parameters was compared at days 2 and 9.
LMWH reached steady state levels of the S2222 and heptest assay within 24 hrs. aXa, heptest, TGIA and TFPI were 22%, 38%, 13% and 22% higher at day 9 compared to day 2. The elimination half-lives of aXa and heptest and the aXa excreted into the urine did not differ between days 2 and 9, respectively. The AUC of the aXa did not correlate with the body weight of the patients.
Fixed dose, body weight-independent subcutaneous LMWH accumulated to some extend after 9 days of treatment in patients with acute VTE. However, the results of the clinical trials with the LMWH certoparin did not show more bleeding complications compared to UFH. Therapy with LMWH for more than 10 days may require dose reduction.
Harenberg:Bristol-Myers Squibb: Consultancy, Honoraria; Pfizer: Consultancy, Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Sanofi Aventis: Consultancy, Honoraria; Roche Diagnostics: Consultancy, Honoraria; Novartis: Consultancy, Honoraria; Bayer Health Care: Consultancy, Honoraria. Abletshauser:Novartis: Employment.
Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.