Background: Selecting initial anticoagulant dose by patient weight for acute pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis has clinical credibility; however, uncertainty remains regarding how to dose obese patients with newer anticoagulants because outcome data are sparse.
Objectives: To use the Matisse trials' comparison of sc fondaparinux once daily with control heparin therapies (intravenous unfractionated heparin for pulmonary embolism, sc enoxaparin 1 mg/kg b.i.d. for deep vein thrombosis) for initial treatment in order to compare primary outcomes (venous thromboembolism recurrence and major bleeding) in obese patients.
Patients and methods: Primary outcomes were compared in subsets composed of patients weighing < or = and > 100 kg and with body mass index (BMI) < 30 and > or = 30 kg/m(2). Medians and ranges for weight and BMI were compared for patients suffering either recurrence or major bleeding.
Results: Twenty-two thousand and one patients received fondaparinux and 2217 received enoxaparin or unfractionated heparin. Four hundred and ninety-six patients (11%) weighed > 100 kg and 1216 (28%) had a BMI > or = 30. Treatment groups had similar characteristics. The upper limit in subject weight for recurrence was 166 kg (BMI 58), and for major bleeding 120 kg (BMI 39). The incidences of recurrence and major bleeding were similar for each patient subset of weight and BMI for both fondaparinux and heparin treatment groups. Among patients with a primary outcome, median weights and BMIs were also similar.
Conclusions: The current recommended doses of fondaparinux and heparins for the treatment of venous thromboembolism appear to provide similar protection against recurrence and major bleeding to one another and to obese and non-obese patients.