Is chemoprophylaxis required after total knee and total hip arthroplasty in the Asian population? A systematic review and network meta-analysis

Thromb Res. 2021 Feb;198:86-92. doi: 10.1016/j.thromres.2020.11.033. Epub 2020 Dec 2.


Introduction: Although chemoprophylaxis against venous thromboembolism (VTE) after Total Joint Arthroplasty (TJA) is commonly practiced, epidemiology studies have shown Asians have a much lower incidence of VTE. The authors aim to investigate if chemoprophylaxis is really necessary in the Asian population undergoing TJA.

Material and methods: Literature searched was conducted for randomized controlled trials or quasi-experimental studies investigating efficacy and/or safety of chemoprophylaxis for TJA without language restrictions. Network meta-analysis, comparing the incidence of 'VTE to be treated', 'VTE not to be treated', 'Minor bleeding', and 'Major bleeding' amongst the different interventions was performed using multivariate meta-regression model.

Results: 38 studies (11,769 patients) were included. Total incidence of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) were 14.2% and 0.73% respectively. For outcome on efficiency, edoxaban, low-molecular-weight-heparin (LMWH), fondaparinux, and enoxaparin showed significantly lower Risk Ratio (RR) for 'VTE to be treated' compared to Control/Placebo. Although no interventions showed increased incidence of major bleeding, LMWH and fondaparinux showed higher RR for minor bleeding. Enoxaparin displayed the best efficacy and safety profile. Total incidence of symptomatic DVT in studies involving enoxaparin was 1.98% (1.07% in patients who received enoxaparin, 2.92% in Control/Placebo). Total incidence of proximal DVT was 2.93% (2.67% in patients who received enoxaparin, 3.11% in Control/Placebo).

Conclusion: Asian population has a much lower incidence of VTE events after TJA compared to the Western population. Although Enoxaparin is still efficacious in reducing symptomatic and proximal DVT after TJA, its benefit-to-risk ratio is much lower than described in the Western literature.

Keywords: Asian; Chemoprophylaxis; Thromboembolic events; Total hip arthroplasty; Total joint arthroplasty; Total knee arthroplasty.