JOURNAL ARTICLE

Plasma anti-FXa level as a surrogate marker of the adequacy of thromboprophylaxis in critically ill patients: A systematic review

Annukka Vahtera, Suvi Vaara, Ville Pettilä, Anne Kuitunen
Thrombosis Research 2016, 139: 10-6
26916290

BACKGROUND: Critical care patients are prone to venous thromboembolism (VTE) and, thus, pharmacological thromboprophylaxis is generally advised. Low-molecular weight heparins (LMWHs) have become the drug of choice in ICU patients, since their predictable and reproducible dose response. Monitoring their pharmacological effect is not usually necessary except in special occasions (i.e. with obese or renal failure patients), where anti-FXa level measuring is recommended. However, there is neither recommendation of adequate anti-FXa levels in critically ill patients nor is it known whether peak or trough level should be measured. The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate the recommended LMWH doses, and the reasons to monitor anti-FXa levels.

METHODS: We searched MEDLINE, Scopus, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and ClinicalTrials.com to identify all potentially relevant studies. Prospective studies done in critically ill patients were included if at least one anti-FXa level (i.e. peak or trough) after any specified LMWH thromboprophylaxis dose was measured.

RESULTS: Total 18 eligible studies including 1644 patients were included. There was a wide variation in the median peak anti-FXa levels (<0.1-0.35IU/ml). Trough levels were generally low. Of note, none of the studies detected any correlation with bleeding events and anti-FXa levels. Low trough level increased incidence of DVT in one study only.

CONCLUSION: Based on the current literature, no definite conclusions can be drawn on targeted anti-FXa level in critically ill patients when using LMWH thromboprophylaxis.

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