• A prospective trial was carried out to test the hypothesis that therapy with intravenous (IV) heparin sodium reduces the incidence of thrombotic complications related to the use of central venous catheters for parenteral nutrition. The patients studied were randomly allocated either to a group given heparin sodium, at a dosage of 5,000 IU/6 hr, or to a control group that received no heparin prophylaxis. The heparin group comprised 23 catheter periods (22 patients), and the control group 26 catheter periods (25 patients). In five of the 23 catheters in the heparin group and 14 of the 26 in the control group, catheter phlebography revealed thrombus formation in association with the catheter when this was removed. The results indicated that the use of IV heparin as prophylaxis against thrombosis reduced the risk of thrombus formation on the central venous catheter.
(Arch Surg 1982;117:1196-1199)