Fixed dosage of low-molecular-weight heparins causes large individual variation in coagulability, only partly correlated to body weight

R. Al Dieri*, S . Alban, S . Beguin, H. C. Hemker

*Corresponding author for this work

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    Backgrounds: Low-molecular-weight heparins (LMWHs) are routinely given without the control of their effect on coagulation. The endogenous thrombin potential (ETP) is a sensitive detector of the heparin effect. Question: What is the interindividual variation in TG after a fixed dose of LMWH in normal volunteers, is it explained by variation in weight? Methods: Subcutaneous (s.c.) injection, in 12 healthy volunteers, of 9000 aXa-units of unfractionated heparin (UFH) and of three heparins with narrow MW distribution around 10.5, 6.0 and 4.5 kD. Measurement of anti-thrombin (aIIa) and antifactor Xa (aXa)-activities and ETP at 11 time points over 24 h. Results: The coefficient of variation (CV) of the AUCs of aXa- and aIIa-activities is 50% for UFH and 22-37% for LMWHs. Because of the hyperbolic form of the dose-response curve, the CV of the inhibition of the ETP is lower: 32% for UFH and 13-21% for the LMWHs. Fixed dosage of LMWH caused under-dosage in 10-13% of the samples and over-dosage in 5-11%. High or low response is an individual property independent of the type of heparin injected and only partially explained by variation in body weight. Conclusion: Optimized individual dosage of LMWH is possible through recognition of high and low responders, which requires one measurement of the heparin concentration or, preferably, the heparin effect on the ETP, 2-5 h after a first injection.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)83-89
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis
    Issue number1
    Early online dateDec 2005
    Publication statusPublished - 2006

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