Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a serious and often fatal medical condition with an increasing incidence. Despite the changing landscape of VTE treatment with the introduction of the new direct oral anticoagulants many uncertainties remain regarding the optimal use of traditional parenteral agents. This manuscript, initiated by the Anticoagulation Forum, provides clinical guidance based on existing guidelines and consensus expert opinion where guidelines are lacking. This specific chapter addresses the practical management of heparins including low molecular weight heparins and fondaparinux. For each anticoagulant a list of the most common practice related questions were created. Each question was addressed using a brief focused literature review followed by a multidisciplinary consensus guidance recommendation. Issues addressed included initial anticoagulant dosing recommendations, recommended baseline laboratory monitoring, managing dose adjustments, evidence to support a relationship between laboratory tests and meaningful clinical outcomes, special patient populations including extremes of weight and renal impairment, duration of necessary parenteral therapy during the transition to oral therapy, candidates for outpatient treatment where appropriate and management of over-anticoagulation and adverse effects including bleeding and heparin induced thrombocytopenia. This article concludes with a concise table of clinical management questions and guidance recommendations to provide a quick reference for the practical management of heparin, low molecular weight heparin and fondaparinux.
- Direct oral anticoagulants (DOAC)
- Low molecular weight heparin
- New oral anticoagulants (NOAC)
- Venous thromboembolism
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine