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August 1975

Low-Dose Heparin in Postoperative Patients: A Prospective, Coded Study

Author Affiliations

From the departments of surgery, Jewish Hospital of St. Louis and Washington University School of Medicine (Drs. Covey and Baue), and the Division of Laboratory Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes Hospital, St. Louis (Dr. Sherman).

Arch Surg. 1975;110(8):1021-1026. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1975.01360140165032

One hundred five patients over age 40 undergoing various major operations were randomly divided into control and treated groups; all were treated by subcutaneous injection containing either 5,000 international units aqueous heparin sodium or a placebo one hour prior to operation and every 12 hours thereafter for eight days. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) was detected by daily 125I-fibrinogen injection and leg scanning, and confirmed by ascending phlebography.

Both groups were comparably distributed by age, sex, variety of operation, incidence of previous thromboembolism, and myocardial and cerebrovascular disease. Blood loss was not increased in the treated group. Incidence of DVT was 8.6% for the total group, 7.5% in the heparin-treated group (four of 53), and 9.6% in the control group (five of 52), including one control patient with a normal scan who later had a pulmonary embolus.

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