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Minidose (1 mg) warfarin as prophylaxis for central vein catheter thrombosis

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Background: Central vein catheters, which are used in the treatment of cancer patients, are prone to thrombotic complications of the catheter or adjacent vein. Previous studies suggest that 1 mg warfarin daily (minidose) can significantly reduce that risk.

Aims: This study aims to establish whether minidose warfarin could reduce catheter-related thrombosis in adult patients with haematological malignancies.

Methods: Patients were randomly selected to receive warfarin or not. The end-points studied were: (i) occlusion by thrombus, (ii) removal of catheter for other reasons or (iii) 90 days free of thrombus.

Results: There was no significant difference in the incidence of catheter thrombosis or venous thrombosis and no significant variation in catheter survival between the study and control groups.

Conclusions: This study found no benefit of the routine use of minidose warfarin for prophylaxis of central vein catheter thrombosis in patients with haematolog- ical malignancies and therefore does not support the routine use of minidose warfarin for prophylaxis in such patients. (Intern Med J 2002; 32: 84–88)

Keywords: central venous catheters; thrombosis; warfarin

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1445-5994.2002.00171.x

Affiliations: 1: Department of Haematology, Christchurch Hospital, and 2: Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Otago, Christchurch, New Zealand

Publication date: March 1, 2002

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