Trauma patients are at high risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE). We summarize the comparative efficacy and safety of anti-Xa guided versus fixed dosing for low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) for the prevention of VTE in adult trauma patients.
We searched Medline and Embase from inception through June 1, 2022. We included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) or observational studies comparing anti-Xa guided versus fixed dosing of LMWH for thromboprophylaxis in adult trauma patients. We incorporated primary data from two large observational cohorts. We pooled effect estimates using a random-effects model. We assessed risk of bias using the ROBINS-I tool for observational studies and assessed certainty of findings using GRADE methodology.
We included 15 observational studies involving 10,348 patients. No RCTs were identified. determined that, compared to fixed LMWH dosing, anti-Xa guided dosing may reduce DVT (aOR 0.52, 95% CI 0.40 to 0.69), PE (aOR 0.48, 95% CI 0.30 to 0.78) or any VTE (aOR 0.54, 95% CI 0.42 to 0.69), though all estimates are based on low certainty evidence. There was an uncertain effect on mortality (aOR 1.06, 95% CI 0.85 to 1.32) and bleeding events (aOR 0.84, 95% CI 0.50 to 1.39), limited by serious imprecision. We used several sensitivity and subgroup analyses to confirm the validity of our assumptions.
Anti-Xa guided dosing may be more effective than fixed dosing for prevention of DVT, PE and VTE for adult trauma patients. These promising findings justify the need for a high-quality randomized study with the potential to deliver practice changing results.