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Current Cardiology Reviews


ISSN (Print): 1573-403X
ISSN (Online): 1875-6557

Efficacy and Safety of Low-Molecular-Weight Heparins As An Adjunct to Thrombolysis in Acute ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction

Author(s): Andrea Rubboli

Volume 4, Issue 1, 2008

Page: [63 - 71] Pages: 9

DOI: 10.2174/157340308783565438

Price: $65


A 48-hour course of intravenous unfractionated heparin (UFH) is the standard of treatment in conjunction with fibrin-specific thrombolysis in ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). In recent trials, the efficacy and safety of inhospital administration of subcutaneous low-molecular-weight heparins (LMWH), previously proven effective in non-STelevation acute coronary syndromes, have been investigated in the setting of STEMI. The aim of this review was to evaluate the available evidence supporting the use of LMWH in STEMI. Overall, about 27,000 patients treated with various thrombolytic regimens, were included in 12 open-label randomized clinical trials, where dalteparin, reviparin or enoxaparin were administered. While acknowledging the wide variability in study dimensions, designs and end-points, a higher efficacy of LMWH was observed overall as compared to placebo, and also to UFH (mainly as regards the occurrence of reinfarction). As regards safety, bleedings were more frequent than placebo and comparable to UFH in LMWH groups, with the exception of the pre-hospital ASSENT-3 PLUS trial, where in elderly patients, enoxaparin had an incidence of intracranial hemorrhage twice higher than UFH. In a recent double-blind, randomized, mega-trial including over 20,000 patients, the superior efficacy on in-hospital and 30-day adverse cardiac events (namely reinfarction), and comparable safety on intracranial bleedings, of enoxaparin compared to UFH, was shown. In conclusion, in-hospital subcutaneous administration of dalteparin, reviparin and enoxaparin, as an adjunct to various thrombolytics in STEMI, appears feasible and at least as effective and safe as 48-hour intravenous treatment with UFH. In accordance with the available strongest evidence, an initial intravenous bolus of enoxaparin followed by twice daily subcutaneous administration for about 1 week should be the preferred regimen, and should be strongly considered instead of intravenous UFH. Along with its easiness of use, not requiring laboratory monitoring, subcutaneous administration of LMWH following STEMI treated with thrombolysis allows extended antithrombotic treatment, while permitting early mobilization (and rehabilitation) of patients.

Keywords: ST-elevation acute myocardial infarction, enoxaparin, dalteparin, reviparin, unfractionated heparin

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