Dosage reduction of low weight heparin in patients with renal dysfunction: Effects on anti-Xa levels and clinical outcomes

Paul Hornung, Meriem Khairoun, Friedo W Dekker, Karin A H Kaasjager, Albert Huisman, Lily Jakulj, Willem Jan W Bos, Frits R Rosendaal, Marianne C Verhaar, Gurbey Ocak

Published: October 2020


Background: To prevent bio-accumulation of low molecular weight heparins (LMWHs) in patients with decreased kidney function, dosage reduction and anti-Xa monitoring has been suggested. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of pre-emptive dosage reduction of LMWH on anti-Xa levels. Furthermore, we investigated the association between anti-Xa levels and bleeding, thrombotic events and mortality.

Methods: In this single center study, we followed 499 patients with decreased renal function in whom anti-Xa levels were measured. We observed how many patients had anti-Xa levels that fell within the reference range, with a standard protocol of a pre-emptive dosage reduction of LMWH (25% reduction in patients with an estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) between 30 and 60 ml/min/1.73m2 and a reduction of 50% in patients with an eGFR below the 30 ml/min/1.73m2). Furthermore, Cox proportional hazard analyses were used to estimate hazard ratios to investigate the association between anti-Xa levels and major bleeding, thrombotic events and mortality within three months of follow-up.

Results: In a cohort of 499 patients (445 dalteparin and 54 nadroparin users), a pre-emptive dosage reduction of LMWH led to adequate levels of anti-Xa in only 19% of the patients (12% for the dalteparin users and 50% for nadroparin users). We did not find an association between anti-Xa levels and bleeding, thrombosis or mortality.

Conclusion: Pre-emptive dosage reduction of LMWH leads to low anti-Xa levels in a large proportion, but this was not associated with bleeding, thrombosis or mortality.

Full Access Link: PLoS ONE