Treatment with Dalteparin is Associated with a Lower Risk of Bleeding Compared to Treatment with Unfractionated Heparin in Patients with Renal Insufficiency

Doyun Park, William Southern, Manuela Calvo, Margarita Kushnir, Clemencia Solorzano, Mark Sinnet, Henny H. Billett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Low molecular weight heparins (LMWHs) have been cautiously used in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) due to fear of accumulation. Dalteparin, however, has shown minimal tendency to accumulate in patients with CKD and may be safe to use in this patient population. OBJECTIVE: We compared the incidence of clinically significant bleeding in patients with CKD receiving therapeutic doses of dalteparin to that of patients with CKD receiving therapeutic doses of UFH. DESIGN: This was a retrospective cohort study. SUBJECTS: Inpatients with CKD (GFR < 60 ml/min) who were treated with therapeutic dalteparin or UFH were included in the study MAIN MEASURES: Primary outcome was major bleeding within 10 days of anticoagulation, identified by ICD-9 code and confirmed by chart review. Demographic characteristics, laboratory values, comorbidities, prior bleeding history and inpatient medications were extracted for each admission from the electronic medical record. Logistic regression models were created to examine the association between choice of anticoagulant and bleeding rates, after adjustment for demographic and clinical characteristics. KEY RESULTS: Dalteparin-treated patients were significantly less likely to experience a major bleed than patients treated with UFH (1.14 % vs. 3.49 %, p < 0.001). The reduced likelihood of bleeding associated with dalteparin treatment remained significant after adjustment for patient characteristics (HR 0.39, 95 % CI: 0.21–0.70, p < 0.0001). A stratified analysis for subgroups with GFR< 30 mL/min and with GFR between 30 and 60 mL/min showed that dalteparin was still associated with lower odds of bleeding compared to treatment with unfractionated heparin, but the difference was nonsignificant for GFR< 30 (HR 0.35, 95 % CI: 0.11–1.15), even after adjustment (OR 0.37, 95 % CI: 0.11–1.22). CONCLUSION: In patients with CKD, treatment with therapeutic dose dalteparin was associated with lower rates of bleeding than treatment with unfractionated heparin. For patients with severe CKD (GFR< 30), dalteparin was shown to be at least as safe as unfractionated heparin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)182-187
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of general internal medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016


  • bleed
  • dalteparin
  • heparin
  • renal insufficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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