Intraoperative, fixed, intermittent, low-dose intravenous heparin prophylaxis has been reported to significantly reduce the incidence of thromboembolic disease from 24.3% to 8.3% after primary total hip arthroplasty (THA). This study examined the potential efficacy of adjusted- dose intraoperative heparin administration, keeping the activated clotting time at 30%-50% greater than normal. It was hypothesized that prolongation of clotting parameters in a uniform manner would further decrease the incidence of thromboembolic disease postoperatively. Sixty-one patients completed the protocol. The overall incidence of thromboembolic disease was 9.8%. Five patients had a positive postoperative venogram: four in the calf and one in the proximal deep thigh vein. One patient had a symptomatic nonfatal pulmonary embolus diagnosed by ventilation-perfusion scan. There were no complications related to heparin administration. This approach was therefore equally as effective as the fixed-dose regimen, and it further confirmed the efficacy and safety of an intraoperative heparin prophylaxis regimen. The extra efforts required to maintain a constant intraoperative level of anticoagulation did not prove advantageous over the simpler, fixed-dose regimen in reducing the incidence of thromboembolic disease after primary THA.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine