Body weight does not predict for anti-Xa levels after fixed dose prophylaxis with enoxaparin after orthopedic surgery

Thromb Res. 1998 Aug 1;91(3):137-42. doi: 10.1016/s0049-3848(98)00083-8.


Enoxaparin after joint arthroplasty is effective prophylaxis against venous thromboembolism. This is usually given as a fixed dose without monitoring of anti-Xa levels. This study assesses the relationship between trough anti-Xa levels, body weight, and venous thromboembolism. Consenting patients at three institutions were treated with Enoxaparin 30 mg subcutaneously bis in die postoperatively until discharge. Chromogenic anti-Xa levels were measured on the fifth postoperative day by the method of Stachrome (Diagnostica Stago). All patients had bilateral compression doppler ultrasonography on day 10 or discharge and were followed for 12 weeks for evidence of venous thromboembolism. Eleven patients developed objectively confirmed venous thromboembolism during the study. In this study, there was poor correlation between weight and anti-Xa levels. In addition, body weight and anti-Xa levels of patients who developed venous thromboembolism were compared to those who did not and there were no significant differences between the two groups. In conclusion, this study shows that there is poor correlation of trough anti-Xa levels with body weight. Recognizing the low overall event rate this study does not support the need to monitor anti-Xa levels or adjusting the dose according to weight.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anticoagulants / administration & dosage*
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip / adverse effects*
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee / adverse effects*
  • Body Weight
  • Enoxaparin / administration & dosage*
  • Factor Xa Inhibitors*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications / physiopathology
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control*
  • Thrombosis / prevention & control*


  • Anticoagulants
  • Enoxaparin
  • Factor Xa Inhibitors