Venous Thromboembolism Prophylaxis in Hospitalized Heart Failure Patients

Preeti Jois-Bilowich, Frank Michota, John R. Bartholomew, Jonathan Glauser, Deborah Diercks, James Weber, Gregg C. Fonarow, Charles L. Emerman, W. Frank Peacock IV

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background: Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a concerning problem for hospitalized heart failure (HF) patients. Current recommendations are that all hospitalized New York Heart Association Class III or IV HF patients should receive VTE prophylaxis. Our purpose was to describe the rate of use and the characteristics of patients receiving VTE prophylaxis in the Acute Decompensated Heart Failure National Registry (ADHERE). Methods and Results: HF hospitalization episodes in ADHERE were analyzed. Patients were excluded from analysis if they were receiving Coumadin or intravenous heparin, had elevated troponin levels, underwent cardiac catheterization or dialysis before or during hospitalization, or were initially admitted to the intensive care unit. VTE prophylaxis was defined as low-molecular-weight or subcutaneous unfractionated heparin administered at any time during hospitalization and intravenous vasoactive therapy was defined as any inotrope, inodilator, or vasodilator. Chi-square, analysis of variance, and Wilcoxon tests were used for univariate and multivariate analyses. Logistic regression was used to evaluate outcomes. A total of 155,073 entries were evaluated, with 71,376 eligible for VTE prophylaxis; 21,847 (31%) received VTE prophylaxis. VTE prophylaxis patients were more often African American (28% versus 21%) or admitted from the emergency department (84% versus 79%), compared with those who did not receive VTE prophylaxis (both P < .0001). Medical history and initial presentation characteristics were similar, except edema, which was more likely in VTE prophylaxis patients (71% versus 66%, P < .0001). Patients receiving VTE prophylaxis more often received an intravenous vasoactive agent (23% versus 18%), angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (61% versus 54%), or β-blocker (63% versus 58%) during their hospitalization and were more likely discharged on an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (53% versus 49%) or β-blocker (57% versus 54%) than non-VTE prophylaxis patients, all P < .0001. VTE prophylaxis patients were more often admitted to the intensive care unit (4.8% versus 2.5%, P < .0001) and had longer median hospital stays (4.2 versus 3.8 days, P < .0001). Mortality was similar between cohorts (3.0% versus 2.9%, P = .69). Conclusions: Despite recommendations that all hospitalized New York Heart Association III and IV CHF patients receive venous thromboembolic disease prophylaxis, less than one third of eligible patients receive this guideline recommended therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-132
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cardiac Failure
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2008


  • Lovenox
  • NYHA class
  • VTE prophylaxis
  • guideline
  • heparin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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