Effect of Intermediate-Dose vs Standard-Dose Prophylactic Anticoagulation on Thrombotic Events, Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Treatment, or Mortality Among Patients With COVID-19 Admitted to the Intensive Care Unit: The INSPIRATION Randomized Clinical Trial | Critical Care Medicine | JAMA | JAMA Network
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    Original Investigation
    March 18, 2021

    Effect of Intermediate-Dose vs Standard-Dose Prophylactic Anticoagulation on Thrombotic Events, Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Treatment, or Mortality Among Patients With COVID-19 Admitted to the Intensive Care Unit: The INSPIRATION Randomized Clinical Trial

    INSPIRATION Investigators
    JAMA. Published online March 18, 2021. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.4152
    Key Points

    Question  What are the effects of intermediate-dose compared with standard-dose prophylactic anticoagulation in patients with COVID-19 admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU)?

    Findings  In this randomized clinical trial that included 562 patients with COVID-19 admitted to the ICU, the primary outcome (a composite of adjudicated venous or arterial thrombosis, treatment with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or mortality within 30 days) occurred in 45.7% of patients in the intermediate-dose prophylactic anticoagulation group and 44.1% of patients in the standard-dose prophylactic anticoagulation group, a difference that was not statistically significant (odds ratio, 1.06).

    Meaning  The results do not support routine empirical use of intermediate-dose prophylactic anticoagulation in unselected patients with COVID-19 admitted to the ICU.


    Importance  Thrombotic events are commonly reported in critically ill patients with COVID-19. Limited data exist to guide the intensity of antithrombotic prophylaxis.

    Objective  To evaluate the effects of intermediate-dose vs standard-dose prophylactic anticoagulation among patients with COVID-19 admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU).

    Design, Setting, and Participants  Multicenter randomized trial with a 2 × 2 factorial design performed in 10 academic centers in Iran comparing intermediate-dose vs standard-dose prophylactic anticoagulation (first hypothesis) and statin therapy vs matching placebo (second hypothesis; not reported in this article) among adult patients admitted to the ICU with COVID-19. Patients were recruited between July 29, 2020, and November 19, 2020. The final follow-up date for the 30-day primary outcome was December 19, 2020.

    Interventions  Intermediate-dose (enoxaparin, 1 mg/kg daily) (n = 276) vs standard prophylactic anticoagulation (enoxaparin, 40 mg daily) (n = 286), with modification according to body weight and creatinine clearance. The assigned treatments were planned to be continued until completion of 30-day follow-up.

    Main Outcomes and Measures  The primary efficacy outcome was a composite of venous or arterial thrombosis, treatment with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or mortality within 30 days, assessed in randomized patients who met the eligibility criteria and received at least 1 dose of the assigned treatment. Prespecified safety outcomes included major bleeding according to the Bleeding Academic Research Consortium (type 3 or 5 definition), powered for noninferiority (a noninferiority margin of 1.8 based on odds ratio), and severe thrombocytopenia (platelet count <20 ×103/µL). All outcomes were blindly adjudicated.

    Results  Among 600 randomized patients, 562 (93.7%) were included in the primary analysis (median [interquartile range] age, 62 [50-71] years; 237 [42.2%] women). The primary efficacy outcome occurred in 126 patients (45.7%) in the intermediate-dose group and 126 patients (44.1%) in the standard-dose prophylaxis group (absolute risk difference, 1.5% [95% CI, −6.6% to 9.8%]; odds ratio, 1.06 [95% CI, 0.76-1.48]; P = .70). Major bleeding occurred in 7 patients (2.5%) in the intermediate-dose group and 4 patients (1.4%) in the standard-dose prophylaxis group (risk difference, 1.1% [1-sided 97.5% CI, −∞ to 3.4%]; odds ratio, 1.83 [1-sided 97.5% CI, 0.00-5.93]), not meeting the noninferiority criteria (P for noninferiority >.99). Severe thrombocytopenia occurred only in patients assigned to the intermediate-dose group (6 vs 0 patients; risk difference, 2.2% [95% CI, 0.4%-3.8%]; P = .01).

    Conclusions and Relevance  Among patients admitted to the ICU with COVID-19, intermediate-dose prophylactic anticoagulation, compared with standard-dose prophylactic anticoagulation, did not result in a significant difference in the primary outcome of a composite of adjudicated venous or arterial thrombosis, treatment with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or mortality within 30 days. These results do not support the routine empirical use of intermediate-dose prophylactic anticoagulation in unselected patients admitted to the ICU with COVID-19.

    Trial Registration  ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04486508