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Pharmacologic Thromboprophylaxis and Thrombosis in Hospitalized Patients with COVID-19: A Pooled AnalysisFunding The authors received no specific funding for this work.
Background Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) increases thrombosis in hospitalized patients prompting adoption of different thromboprophylaxis strategies. Safety and efficacy of escalated-dose pharmacologic thromboprophylaxis are not established.
Objectives To determine the pooled incidence of thrombosis/bleeding in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 for standard-dose, intermediate-dose, therapeutic anticoagulation, and no pharmacologic thromboprophylaxis.
Methods MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane CENTRAL were searched up to August 29, 2020 for studies reporting pharmacologic thromboprophylaxis and thrombosis or bleeding. Pooled event rates were calculated using a random-effects model.
Results Thirty-five observational studies were included. The pooled incidence rates of total venous thromboembolism (N = 4,685) were: no prophylaxis 41.9% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 28.1–57.2, I 2 = 76%), standard-dose prophylaxis 19.8% (95% CI: 13.2–28.6, I 2 = 95%), intermediate-dose prophylaxis 11.9% (95% CI: 4.3–28.6, I 2 = 91%), and therapeutic-dose anticoagulants 10.5% (95% CI: 4.2–23.8, I 2 = 82%, p = 0.003). The pooled incidence rates of arterial thrombosis (N = 1,464) were: no prophylaxis 11.3% (95% CI: 5.2–23.0, I 2 = 0%), standard-dose prophylaxis 2.5% (95% CI: 1.4–4.3, I 2 = 45%), intermediate-dose prophylaxis 2.1% (95% CI: 0.5–7.7, I 2 = 45%), and therapeutic-dose anticoagulants 1.3% (95% CI: 0.2–8.8, I 2 = 0, p = 0.009). The pooled bleeding event rates (N = 6,393) were nonsignificantly higher in therapeutic-dose anticoagulants compared with standard-dose prophylaxis, (6.3 vs. 1.7%, p = 0.083).
Conclusion Thrombosis rates were lower in hospitalized COVID-19 patients who received pharmacologic thromboprophylaxis. Thrombosis and bleeding rates for patients receiving intermediate-dose thromboprophylaxis or therapeutic anticoagulation were similar to those who received standard-dose pharmacologic thromboprophylaxis.
* These two authors contributed equally to this work.
Received: 22 September 2020
Accepted: 08 November 2020
Article published online:
30 December 2020
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