A randomized trial of low-dose heparin and intermittent pneumatic calf compression for the prevention of deep venous thrombosis after gynecologic oncology surgery

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1993 Apr;168(4):1146-53; discussion 1153-4. doi: 10.1016/0002-9378(93)90360-u.


Objective: Our aim was to determine the relative efficacy and complications of low-dose heparin and intermittent pneumatic calf compression for the prevention of postoperative venous thrombosis in patients undergoing surgery for gynecologic malignancy.

Study design: Randomized trial comparing 107 patients treated with low-dose heparin to 101 patients treated with intermittent pneumatic calf compression was performed. All patients were evaluated with iodine-125 fibrinogen scanning of the legs. Clinical and laboratory variables associated with bleeding complications were recorded prospectively.

Results: Venous thrombosis was diagnosed in seven patients receiving low-dose heparin and in four receiving intermittent pneumatic calf compression (p = 0.54). Low-dose heparin patients received more blood transfusions postoperatively (p = 0.02), had increased volume of retroperitoneal drainage (p = 0.02), and the activated partial thromboplastin time was more frequently prolonged (p = 0.001).

Conclusions: Low-dose heparin and intermittent pneumatic calf compression provide similar reduction in reducing the incidence of postoperative venous thrombosis. However, low-dose heparin is more frequently associated with postoperative bleeding complications.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / surgery*
  • Gravity Suits*
  • Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Heparin / administration & dosage*
  • Heparin / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control*
  • Risk Factors
  • Thrombosis / etiology
  • Thrombosis / prevention & control*


  • Heparin