Folia Medica 62(4): 769-776, doi: 10.3897/folmed.62.e50576
Postoperative Low Molecular Weight Heparin-induced Infection in Gastrointestinal Cancer Patients. A 2-year Single Centre Experience
expand article infoAlexandrina Nikova§, Maria Kyriazi, Helena Michalopoulou, Melani Demetriou, Vasilis Tselepidis, Konstantinos Ntatsis
‡ Metaxa Cancer Hospital, Piraeus, Greece§ National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece
Open Access

Introduction: Patients with gastrointestinal cancer are at high risk of developing thrombosis and postoperative infection. Antico-agulation therapy for such patients is provided by low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) and elastic stockings. The latter, however, is linked to immunoregulatory activities and immunosuppression in vivo and in vitro.

Aim: Therefore, the present study aimed to examine the link between LMWH and infection in patients with gastrointestinal cancer.

Materials and methods: The study is a retrospective report of 51 patients operated on at the Second Department of Surgery at Metaxa Cancer Hospital. The sample was divided into groups based on the presence or absence of diabetes and preoperative anticoagu-lation therapy. Afterwards, the data were statistically analysed. 

Results: The results of the study show a statistically significant correlation between LMWH and infection. Moreover, the risk of infec-tion increases by 13.3% for each day of heparin intake. The theory of this correlation is explained in detail. 

Conclusions: The findings of the present study raise an essential question about postoperative management of cancer patients. How-ever, the study sample size is rather small so further studies with larger sample size are required to give greater credence to results.

cancer, HIT, infection, LMWH, PF4