The optimal management of hematologic malignancy-associated venous thromboembolism (VTE) in patients with moderate-to-severe thrombocytopenia is unclear. This is a retrospective study of 128 adult patients with hematologic malignancies who were diagnosed with VTE. The outcome of patients with significant thrombocytopenia (≤50,000/µL) was compared with those without. Forty-seven patients (36.7%) had a platelet count ≤50,000/µL during a period of time of perceived need for new or continued anticoagulation. The median nadir platelet count in those with significant thrombocytopenia was 10,000/µL (range 2,000–45,000/µL) versus 165,000/µL (50,000–429,000/µL) in those without (P < 0.001). The median duration of significant thrombocytopenia in the first group was 10 days (1–35 days). Therapy during the period of significant thrombocytopenia included prophylactic-dose low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) (47%), therapeutic-dose LMWH or heparin (30%), warfarin (2%), inferior vena cava filter (2%), and observation (17%). Patients without thrombocytopenia were managed with the standard of care therapy. At a median follow-up of more than 2 years, the risk of clinically significant bleeding (11% vs 6%, P = 0.22) including major bleeding (6% vs 2%) and clot progression or recurrence (21% vs 22%, P = 1.00) were similar in patients with or without significant thrombocytopenia. In a multivariate analysis, the risk of recurrence/progression (hazard ratio, HR 0.59, 95% CI 0.21–1.66, P = 0.31) and hemorrhage rate (HR 0.29, 95% CI 0.05–1.56, P = 0.15) did not differ based on the presence of significant thrombocytopenia. Within the limits of this retrospective study, cautious use of prophylactic-dose LMWH may be safe in thrombocytopenic patients with hematologic malignancy-associated VTE. Am. J. Hematol. 91:E468–E472, 2016.
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