Extended thromboprophylaxis for medically ill patients with cancer: a systemic review and meta-analysis

Blood Adv. 2021 Apr 27;5(8):2055-2062. doi: 10.1182/bloodadvances.2020004118.


Hospitalized medically ill patients with cancer are at increased risk of both venous thromboembolism and bleeding. The safety and efficacy of extended thromboprophylaxis in patients with cancer are unclear. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature using of MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane CENTRAL databases to identify cancer subgroups enrolled in randomized controlled trials evaluating extended thromboprophylaxis following hospitalization. The primary outcomes were symptomatic and incidental venous thromboembolic events and hemorrhage (major hemorrhage and clinically relevant nonmajor bleeding). Four randomized controlled trials reported the outcomes of extended thromboprophylaxis in 3655 medically ill patients with active or history of cancer. The rates of venous thromboembolic events were similar between the extended-duration and standard-duration groups (odds ratio [OR], 0.85; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.61-1.18; I2 = 0%). However, major and clinically relevant nonmajor bleeding occurred significantly more frequently in the extended-duration thromboprophylaxis group (OR, 2.10; 95% CI, 1.33-3.35; I2 = 8%). Extended thromboprophylaxis in hospitalized medically ill patients with cancer was not associated with a reduced rate of venous thromboembolic events but was associated with increased risk of hemorrhage. This study protocol was registered on PROSPERO as #CRD42020209333.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anticoagulants
  • Hemorrhage / chemically induced
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms* / complications
  • Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Venous Thromboembolism* / etiology
  • Venous Thromboembolism* / prevention & control
  • Venous Thrombosis*


  • Anticoagulants