Prevention of venous thrombosis with small, subcutaneous doses of heparin

JAMA. 1976 May 3;235(18):1980-2.


The effect of low-dose heparin prophylaxis on venous thrombosis and bleeding after major elective surgery was studied in a prospective controlled study of 820 patients. The total incidence of venous thrombosis detected with leg-scanning using fibrinogen labeled with radioactive iodine (125I) was reduced from 16.0% in the control group to 4.2% in treated patients. More important, the incidence of popliteal or femoral vein thrombosis was reduced from 2.9% to 1.0%. Prophylaxis resulted in a slight increase in bleeding-minor wound hematoma, mean volume of blood transfused, and a post-operative hematocrit fall in treated patients. However, increased bleeding was clinically minor, and prophylaxis was well tolerated.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Fibrinogen
  • Hemorrhage / chemically induced
  • Heparin / administration & dosage*
  • Heparin / adverse effects
  • Heparin / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Leg / blood supply
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control
  • Prospective Studies
  • Surgical Procedures, Operative
  • Thrombophlebitis / prevention & control*


  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Fibrinogen
  • Heparin