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June 24, 1974

Heparin (Continued)

Author Affiliations

Abbott Laboratories North Chicago, Ill

JAMA. 1974;228(13):1636-1637. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230380014004

To the Editor.—  The Journal's medical news article (227:481, 1974) drew attention to the wide variation in chemical composition of current commercial heparin preparations. Results of recent investigations confirm what has been known by laboratory workers for some time, namely, that there is great need for a method of standardization of heparin that adequately corresponds to the clinical need, and allows for the routine assignment of potency values to heparin preparations that are truly representative of anticoagulant potency in the patient. Given these facts, however, one must guard against making the assumption that the existence of variations in the chemical composition of heparins derived from different tissue sources, such as beef lung and porcine intestinal mucosa, is indicative of significant clinical differences between them.With regard to the possibility that there may be a relationship between the observed variations in the chemical composition of commercial heparins from differing tissue