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The Use of Low-Dose Warfarin as Prophylaxis for Central Venous Catheter Thrombosis in Patients With Cancer: A Meta-Analysis

Krista M. Rawson
Christine V. Newburn-Cook
ONF 2007, 34(5), 1037-1043 DOI: 10.1188/07.ONF.1037-1043

Purpose/Objectives: To determine whether the use of low-dose warfarin could reduce the incidence of thrombosis in patients with cancer who have a central venous catheter (CVC).

Data Sources: MEDLINE®, CINAHL®, CANCERLIT®, EMBASE®, and the Cochrane Library.

Data Synthesis: Meta-analysis of four studies (N = 1,236 patients) revealed that 6.4% of warfarin-treated patients experienced a thrombotic event compared with 7.5% in the control (no treatment) group. The risk difference for thrombus formation was not significant (2.0%, confidence interval = -9.0% to 5.0%).

Conclusions: The administration of warfarin did not reduce the incidence of symptomatic or asymptomatic CVC-associated thrombosis in patients with cancer.

Implications for Nursing: Using research findings to inform clinical nursing practice is important in caring for patients and providing optimal and improved patient outcomes. Prophylactic use of low-dose warfarin may not prevent thrombus formation and is associated with potentially adverse patient outcomes.

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