Clinical and economic outcomes with appropriate or partial prophylaxis

Thromb Res. 2010 Jun;125(6):513-7. doi: 10.1016/j.thromres.2009.10.018.


Introduction: Despite the existence of evidence-based guidelines for venous thromboembolism (VTE) prevention, prophylaxis is often inappropriately prescribed. This study compared the efficacy, safety, and cost of appropriate (ACCP-recommended) prophylaxis with partial prophylaxis (not completely conforming to ACCP guidelines) in patients at-risk of VTE receiving enoxaparin or unfractionated heparin.

Methods: The MarketScan((R)) Hospital Drug Database from Thomson Reuters (January 2004-March 2007), was queried for medical and surgical patients at high risk of VTE, aged > or =40years, and with a hospital stay > or =6days. Univariate and multivariate analyses compared hospital-acquired VTE events, adverse events, and hospital costs between appropriate or partial prophylaxis discharges.

Results: Of the 21,001 discharge records included, appropriate prophylaxis was received by 5136 (24.5%) patients. Compared with partial prophylaxis, appropriate prophylaxis was associated with significantly lower incidences of hospital-acquired pulmonary embolism (0.9% vs 0.5%; adjusted odds ratio [OR] 0.55, 95% confidence intervals [CI] 0.35-0.87, P=0.010), and bleeding events (10.7% vs 5.1%; adjusted OR 0.57, 95% CI 0.50-0.66, P<0.001). Total costs per discharge were lower for appropriate prophylaxis ($17,386+/-12,004) than partial prophylaxis ($23,823+/-19,783) with an adjusted mean difference of $6370 in favor of appropriate prophylaxis (P<0.001).

Conclusion: This retrospective study suggests that ACCP-guideline recommended appropriate prophylaxis reduces hospital-acquired pulmonary embolism and bleeding events in patients at-risk of VTE and is cost-saving when total direct medical costs are considered. The substantial US clinical and economic VTE burden may, therefore, be reduced by improving prophylaxis adherence with guideline recommendations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Data Collection
  • Enoxaparin / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Guideline Adherence / economics
  • Guideline Adherence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Hemorrhage / chemically induced
  • Hemorrhage / prevention & control
  • Heparin / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic / standards*
  • Premedication / economics
  • Premedication / methods*
  • Pulmonary Embolism / etiology
  • Pulmonary Embolism / prevention & control
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Safety
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Venous Thromboembolism / drug therapy
  • Venous Thromboembolism / prevention & control*


  • Anticoagulants
  • Enoxaparin
  • Heparin