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Unfractionated heparin versus low molecular weight heparins for avoiding heparin-induced thrombocytopenia in postoperative patients

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, April 2017
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  • Above-average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (60th percentile)

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Title
Unfractionated heparin versus low molecular weight heparins for avoiding heparin-induced thrombocytopenia in postoperative patients
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, April 2017
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd007557.pub3
Pubmed ID
Authors

Junqueira, Daniela R, Zorzela, Liliane M, Perini, Edson

Abstract

Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) is an adverse drug reaction presenting as a prothrombotic disorder related to antibody-mediated platelet activation. It is a paradoxical immune reaction resulting in thrombin generation in vivo, which leads to a hypercoagulable state and the potential to initiate venous or arterial thrombosis. A number of factors are thought to influence the incidence of HIT including the type and preparation of heparin (unfractionated heparin (UFH) or low molecular weight heparin (LMWH)) and the heparin-exposed patient population, with the postoperative patient population at higher risk.Although LMWH has largely replaced UFH as a front-line therapy, there is evidence supporting a lack of superiority of LMWH compared with UFH regarding prevention of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism following surgery, and similar frequencies of bleeding have been described with LMWH and UFH. The decision as to which of these two preparations of heparin to use may thus be influenced by harmful effects such as HIT. We therefore sought to determine the relative impact of UFH and LMWH on HIT in postoperative patients receiving thromboembolism prophylaxis. This is an update of a review first published in 2012. The objective of this review was to compare the incidence of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) and HIT complicated by venous thromboembolism in postoperative patients exposed to unfractionated heparin (UFH) versus low molecular weight heparin (LMWH). For this update, the Cochrane Vascular Information Specialist searched the Specialised Register (May 2016), CENTRAL (2016, Issue 4) and trials registries. The authors searched Lilacs (June 2016) and additional trials were sought from reference lists of relevant publications. We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in which participants were postoperative patients allocated to receive prophylaxis with UFH or LMWH, in a blinded or unblinded fashion. Studies were excluded if they did not use the accepted definition of HIT. This was defined as a relative reduction in the platelet count of 50% or greater from the postoperative peak (even if the platelet count at its lowest remained greater than 150 x 10(9)/L) occurring within five to 14 days after the surgery, with or without a thrombotic event occurring in this timeframe. Additionally, we required circulating antibodies associated with the syndrome to have been investigated through laboratory assays. Two review authors independently extracted data and assessed the risk of bias. Disagreements were resolved by consensus with participation of a third author. In this update, we included three trials involving 1398 postoperative participants. Participants were submitted to general surgical procedures, minor and major, and the minimum mean age was 49 years. Pooled analysis showed a significant reduction in the risk of HIT with LMWH compared with UFH (risk ratio (RR) 0.23, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.07 to 0.73); low-quality evidence. The number needed to treat for an additional beneficial outcome (NNTB) was 59. The risk of HIT was consistently reduced comparing participants undergoing major surgical procedures exposed to LMWH or UFH (RR 0.22, 95% CI 0.06 to 0.75); low-quality evidence. The occurrence of HIT complicated by venous thromboembolism was significantly lower in participants receiving LMWH compared with UFH (RR 0.22, 95% CI 0.06 to 0.84); low-quality evidence. The NNTB was 75. Arterial thrombosis occurred in only one participant who received UFH. There were no amputations or deaths documented. Although limited evidence is available, it appears that HIT induced by both types of heparins is common in people undergoing major surgical procedures (incidence greater than 1% and less than 10%). This updated review demonstrated low-quality evidence of a lower incidence of HIT, and HIT complicated by venous thromboembolism, in postoperative patients undergoing thromboprophylaxis with LMWH compared with UFH. Similarily, the risk of HIT in people undergoing major surgical procedures was lower when treated with LMWH compared to UFH (low-quality evidence). The quality of the evidence was downgraded due to concerns about the risk of bias in the included studies and imprecision of the study results. These findings may support current clinical use of LMWH over UFH as front-line heparin therapy. However, our conclusions are limited and there was an unexpected paucity of RCTs including HIT as an outcome. To address the scarcity of clinically-relevant information on HIT, HIT must be included as a core harmful outcome in future RCTs of heparin.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 6 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 15 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 15 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 1 7%
Unknown 14 93%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 1 7%
Unknown 14 93%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 3. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 29 July 2017.
All research outputs
#6,263,808
of 12,100,779 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#4,908
of 7,978 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#102,429
of 266,064 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#85
of 119 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 12,100,779 research outputs across all sources so far. This one is in the 47th percentile – i.e., 47% of other outputs scored the same or lower than it.
So far Altmetric has tracked 7,978 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 14.6. This one is in the 26th percentile – i.e., 26% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 266,064 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 60% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 119 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one is in the 26th percentile – i.e., 26% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.