April 1981

Anticoagulants, Venous Thromboembolism, and the Cancer Patient

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery (Drs Moore, Osteen, Steele, and Wilson), Peter Bent Brigham Hospital; and the Department of Medicine (Dr Karp), Sidney Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston.

Arch Surg. 1981;116(4):405-407. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1981.01380160021005

• The records of 32 cancer patients who were treated with heparin sodium and warfarin sodium for thromboembolic disease were reviewed. Standard techniques for anticoagulation were neither safe nor effective. Sixteen patients experienced 21 different hemorrhagic complications. Eight patients had major hemorrhages that led to cessation of therapy or death. Six of 32 patients had pulmonary embolisms while receiving anticoagulants. It is suggested that venous interruption may be a safer and more effective method of prophylaxis against pulmonary embolism in cancer patients.

(Arch Surg 1981;116:405-407)