Low molecular weight heparin administration in cancer patients with hypercoagulability-related complications and carrying brain metastases: a case series study.
ABSTRACT Venous thromboembolism (VTE) and brain metastases (MTS) are significant clinical problems in the cancer patient population. Brain MTS and deep vein thrombosis are life-threatening conditions because of the risk of fatal endocranic hypertension and pulmonary embolism. Low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) is a major treatment for cancer patients suffering from VTE with regard to the management of the acute phase and subsequent secondary prophylaxis. Treatment with anticoagulants is feared because of the risk of triggering a massive intracranial hemorrhage.
The medical records of patients with hypercoagulability-related complications and carrying brain MTS treated with LMWH, in a 10-year period, were scrutinized. The authors aimed to focus on the occurrence of intracranial hemorrhage in anticoagulated patients; furthermore, data were collected with regard to the characteristics of the administered LMWHs along with the duration and dosing of the anticoagulative treatment.
A total of 38 patients (pts) carrying an intracranial metastatic tumor were administered LMWHs: calcium nadroparin (32 pts); enoxaparin (2 pts); reviparin (2 pts); parnaparin (2 pts). Reason for LMWH therapy: deep vein thrombosis and/or pulmonary embolism (15 pts); superficial thrombophlebitis (15 pts); intracardiac thrombus (1 pt); mild DIC (5 pts); acute DIC (1 pt); Raynaud phenomenon (1 pt); atrial fibrillation (1 pt). Median duration of LMWH therapy: 13 weeks (range 1-52). None of the patients developed clinical and/or radiographic findings imputable to intracranial hemorrhage.
There is no standard medical approach for the management of patients who require anticoagulant treatment and are suffering from brain MTS. These patients as necessary, might be anticoagulated with LMWH and its dose reduction is to be considered.