Anticoagulants for the prevention and treatment of catheter-related thrombosis in adults and children on parenteral nutrition: a systematic review and critical appraisal

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Patients on parenteral nutrition require a central venous access and are at risk of catheter-related thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and vena cava syndrome. Parenteral nutrition guidelines suggest anticoagulation for the primary prevention of catheter-related thrombosis during long-term parenteral nutrition. We conducted a systematic review of the efficacy, safety and feasibility of anticoagulant use for preventing and treating catheter-related thrombosis during parenteral nutrition. We searched for interventional and observational studies on adults and children receiving systemic anticoagulants during either short- or long-term parenteral nutrition delivered via central venous access. Primary outcomes were: objectively-confirmed catheter-related thrombosis, pulmonary embolism and bleeding. Secondary outcomes were: heparin-induced thrombocytopenia, prevalence of anticoagulation, and quality of International Normalised Ratio management in vitamin K antagonist-treated patients. We identified 1,199 studies, of which 23 were included. Seven interventional studies of short-term parenteral nutrition (adult population, n=5) were classified as low-quality: in those, intravenous unfractionated heparin did not prevent catheter-related thrombosis if compared to saline. No interventional studies were conducted in patients on long-term parenteral nutrition. Observational data were sparse, rarely focusing on anticoagulation, and overall of low quality. The reported use of anticoagulants was between 22 and 66% in recent multicentre cohorts. The amount and quality of data in this area are very suboptimal: most studies are outdated and involved heterogeneous populations. Currently, there is insufficient evidence to allow conclusions to be reached regarding the efficacy and safety of anticoagulants in this setting
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-377
JournalBlood transfusion
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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