Duration of prophylaxis against venous thromboembolism with enoxaparin after surgery for cancer

David Bergqvist, Giancarlo Agnelli, Alexander T Cohen, Amiram Eldor, Paul E Nilsson, Anne Le Moigne-Amrani, Flavia Dietrich-Neto
New England Journal of Medicine 2002 March 28, 346 (13): 975-80

BACKGROUND: Abdominal surgery for cancer carries a high risk of venous thromboembolism, but the optimal duration of postoperative thromboprophylaxis is unknown.

METHODS: We conducted a double-blind, multicenter trial in which patients undergoing planned curative open surgery for abdominal or pelvic cancer received enoxaparin (40 mg subcutaneously) daily for 6 to 10 days and were then randomly assigned to receive either enoxaparin or placebo for another 21 days. Bilateral venography was performed between days 25 and 31, or sooner if symptoms of venous thromboembolism occurred. The primary end point with respect to efficacy was the incidence of venous thromboembolism between days 25 and 31. The primary safety end point was bleeding during the three-week period after randomization. The patients were followed for three months.

RESULTS: The intention-to-treat analysis of efficacy included 332 patients. The rates of venous thromboembolism at the end of the double-blind phase were 12.0 percent in the placebo group and 4.8 percent in the enoxaparin group (P=0.02). This difference persisted at three months (13.8 percent vs. 5.5 percent, P=0.01). Three patients in the enoxaparin group and six in the placebo group died within three months after surgery. There were no significant differences in the rates of bleeding or other complications during the double-blind or follow-up periods.

CONCLUSIONS: Enoxaparin prophylaxis for four weeks after surgery for abdominal or pelvic cancer is safe and significantly reduces the incidence of venographically demonstrated thrombosis, as compared with enoxaparin prophylaxis for one week.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"