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.