Scientific letters

Validation of a dosing regimen for fixed-dose, weight-adjusted, subcutaneous unfractionated heparin for the acute treatment of venous thrombo-embolism in a population from a resource-constrained environment

J I Munsamy, H Kertland, A Parrish


A study in Canada and New Zealand (Kearon et al.) suggested that fixed-dose unmonitored subcutaneous (SC) unfractionated heparin (UFH) is as effective and safe as low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) for the acute treatment of venous thrombo-embolism. While this trial has limitations, it provides evidence to support the use of SC UFH in a resource-constrained environment. However, because public sector patients with VTE in South Africa often have multiple co-morbidities and are thinner and younger than those in that study, the local validity of the published dosing regimen is unclear.

Authors' affiliations

J I Munsamy, Rhodes University

H Kertland, University of Toronto

A Parrish, Walter Sisulu University

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Unfractionated heparin; Venous thrombosis; Thromboembolism; Resource-constrained environment

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2010;100(7):432, 434.

Article History

Date submitted: 2009-06-29
Date published: 2010-07-05

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