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Table 1 Treatment duration and reported adverse event rates in studies comparing UFH vs. LMWH heparin in the treatment and prophylaxis of VTE

From: Rates of clinically apparent heparin-induced thrombocytopenia for unfractionated heparin vs. low molecular weight heparin in non-surgical patients are low and similar

Treatment of VTE       
Study Treatment duration (days) Reported Adverse Event UFH LMWH
  UFH LMWH   % n/N % n/N
Merli [11] ≥ 5 ≥ 5 T* 1.4 4/290 2.0 12/610
Koopman [12] 6.1 6.5 T(u) 2.5 5/198 1.5 3/202
Levine [13] 5.5 5.8 T 1.9 3/253 2.0 5/247
    T w/o exp. 0.4 1/253 0.4 1/247
Hull [14] not stated T(u) 1.0 1/103 3.1 3/97
Columbus Invest [15] 5.8 6.3 HIT 0.3 1/308 0.0 0/304
Simmoneau [16] 7.0 7.3 HIT 0.3 1/308 0.0 0/304
Prophylaxis of VTE       
Study Treatment duration (days) Reported Adverse Event UFH LMWH
  UFH LMWH   % n/N % n/N
Harenberg, 1990 [17] 10 10 **   -/82   -/84
Harenberg, 1996 [18] 10 10 T(d) 0.5 4/780 0.0 0/810
PRIME [19] 7 7 T (n) 0.0 0/482 0.0 0/477
Bergmann [20] 10 10 HIT† 0.4 1/223 0.0 0/216
PRINCE [21] 10 10 T   NR   NR
  1. Key:
  2. T:Thrombocytopenia, defined as platelet count less than 100,000 cells/ml,
  3. *One case of "immune thrombocytopenia reported in this study". Case was in the LMWH group but had received UFH prior to randomization.
  4. T(u) – Thrombocytopenia-undefined in study
  5. T w/o exp. – Thrombocytopenia with "no apparent explanation"
  6. NR: not reported,
  7. **: "Thrombocyte count did not change in either group".
  8. T(d): A decrease in platelet count (values ranging between 40,000 and 80,000/microliter) was observed in four patients with UF and in none with LMW heparin. No severe thrombocytopenia was observed.
  9. T(n): "There was no decrease in platelet count due to enoxaparin or Ca-heparin."
  10. † One patient with drop in platelet count from 149 K cells/ml to 87 K during treatment. Platelet count rose to 280 K post study. No sequallae from thrombocytopenia.
  11. Average length of treatment not stated. Treatment length "at least five days".