For the initial treatment of venous thromboembolism: are all low-molecular-weight heparin compounds the same?

Thromb Res. 2000 Oct 15;100(2):V121-30. doi: 10.1016/s0049-3848(00)00272-3.


Low-molecular-weight heparin compounds have been used in the treatment of patients with venous thromboembolism for approximately 15 years. Ever since their introduction, there has been discussion about whether low-molecular-weight heparin compounds differ in their efficacy and safety. The best answer would be provided by direct comparison of different low-molecular-weight heparin preparations; however, these trials have not been conducted. Classical meta-analysis has its limitations for such a comparison since only a very small number of trials with the respective low-molecular-weight heparin compounds are available. The objective of the present analysis has been the use of meta-regression to compare the efficacy and safety of different low-molecular-weight heparin compounds in the initial treatment of patients with venous thromboembolism. We used computerized literature searches to identify studies that compared dose-adjusted unfractionated heparin treatment with fixed dose subcutaneous low-molecular-weight heparin treatment in patients with established venous thromboembolism. The individual odds ratios of the studies were plotted against the absolute percentage of the major outcomes in the unfractionated heparin control group. Linear regression was used to find differences between different low-molecular-weight heparin compounds. There appears to be some variation in efficacy and safety among the currently available low-molecular-weight heparin preparations.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Anticoagulants / adverse effects
  • Anticoagulants / standards
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use
  • Databases, Factual / statistics & numerical data
  • Hemorrhage / chemically induced
  • Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight / adverse effects
  • Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight / standards
  • Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic / statistics & numerical data
  • Survival Rate
  • Thromboembolism / complications
  • Thromboembolism / drug therapy*
  • Thromboembolism / mortality
  • Venous Thrombosis / complications
  • Venous Thrombosis / drug therapy*
  • Venous Thrombosis / mortality


  • Anticoagulants
  • Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight