What are the options for administration of heparin therapy for antiphospholipid syndrome (APS)?

Updated: Nov 24, 2020
  • Author: Suneel Movva, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Heparin therapy may be administered in several regimens, as follows:

  • Thrombotic events are initially treated with intravenous infusion of unfractionated heparin or therapeutic doses of subcutaneous low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) and low-dose aspirin.

  • Subcutaneous LMWH (enoxaparin [Lovenox]) may also be used for obstetric or thrombosis prophylaxis. Lower doses (20-40 mg/d SC) are used to prevent fetal loss, while higher doses (1 mg/kg q12h or 1.5 mg/kg/d) are used for thrombosis prophylaxis in patients (pregnant or nonpregnant) who have had prior thrombotic events.

Patients who require heparin administration throughout pregnancy should receive calcium and vitamin D supplementation to help avoid heparin-induced osteoporosis. When monitoring heparin therapy, note that the activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) may be unreliable in the presence of circulating antiphospholipid (aPL) antibodies with a baseline elevated aPTT. In this case, factor Xa may be helpful.

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