August 1991

Low-Molecular-Weight Heparin (Enoxaparin) vs Dextran 70The Prevention of Postoperative Deep Vein Thrombosis After Total Hip Replacement

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Orthopaedics (Drs Borris, Lassen, and Sørensen) and Radiology (Drs Schøtt and Siem-Jørgensen), Aalborg (Denmark) Hospital; Departments of Orthopaedics (Drs N. Jørgensen and Hinrichsen) and Radiology (Dr Thrane-Nielsen), Hillerød (Denmark) Hospital; Departments of Orthopaedics (Drs Hauch, S. Jørgensen, Tørholm, and Wille-Jørgensen), and Radiology (Dr Nissen), Gentofte Hospital, University of Copenhagen (Denmark); and Departments of Orthopaedics (Dr Jensen) and Radiology (Dr Hansen), Holstebro (Denmark) Hospital.

Arch Intern Med. 1991;151(8):1621-1624. doi:10.1001/archinte.1991.00400080105020

A prospective randomized study compared the thromboprophylactic efficacy and safety of a low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH), enoxaparin (40.6 mg subcutaneously once daily), with a standard regimen of dextran 70 in patients undergoing elective total hip replacement. Deep vein thrombosis was diagnosed by bilateral ascending phlebography 7 to 11 days after operation. Two hundred forty-six patients were included and 219 were eligible for analysis. Deep vein thrombosis was diagnosed in seven of 108 patients in the LMWH group and in 24 of 111 patients in the dextran group. Clinical symptoms of pulmonary embolism did not develop in any patients during the study. In the postoperative period, patients receiving LMWH had a lower blood loss in drains and required fewer blood transfusions than patients receiving dextran, although no significant differences were noted between the groups with respect to the total number of blood transfusions required. Bleeding events and adverse events did not differ between the groups. None of the patients died in hospital during the study. One patient in the LMWH group died at home 15 days after the operation. Three patients receiving dextran had development of symptomatic deep vein thrombosis after hospital discharge. In conclusion, enoxaparin was a more effective thromboprophylactic than a standard regimen of dextran in patients undergoing total hip replacement. The two regimens were equally safe under the clinical conditions.

(Arch Intern Med. 1991;151:1621-1624)