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Delays in time to therapeutic activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) have been associated with poor outcomes in patients with acute pulmonary embolism (PE). To investigate the relationship between time to therapeutic anticoagulation and in-hospital mortality in critically ill, obese patients with acute PE. This study examined 204 critically ill patients with a body mass index (BMI) ≥30 kg/m2 receiving unfractionated heparin (UFH) for PE treatment. Patients achieving therapeutic anticoagulation within 24 hours of UFH initiation (early) were compared to those in >24 hours (delayed). Additional end points included 30-day mortality, median time to therapeutic aPTT, proportion of therapeutic and supratherapeutic aPTT values, hemodynamic deterioration, thrombolytic therapy after UFH initiation, length of stay, and bleeding. No difference in in-hospital or 30-day all-cause mortality was seen (odds ratio [OR]: 1.33, confidence interval [CI]: 0.647-2.72; OR: 1.003, CI: 0.514-1.96). Patients in the early group had a greater proportion of therapeutic aPTT values (66.7% vs 50%, P < .001) and higher percentage of supratherapeutic aPTT values (20.9% vs 11.3%, P < .001); however, no increase in clinically significant bleeding was evident (15.2% vs 10.9%, P = .366). In this population, a shorter time to therapeutic aPTT was not associated with improved survival.


Lauren H Sutton, Bethany R Tellor, Hannah E Pope, Jennifer N Riney, Katherine L Weaver. Evaluation of Time to Therapeutic Anticoagulation and Associated Outcomes in Critically Ill, Obese Patients With Pulmonary Embolism Receiving Unfractionated Heparin. Journal of pharmacy practice. 2021 Jun;34(3):438-444

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PMID: 31564199

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