What is the role of heparin in preventing transfusion-related complications following liver transplantation?

Updated: Apr 19, 2019
  • Author: Vanessa A Olcese, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Ron Shapiro, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Vascular thrombosis following liver transplantation is a sufficiently significant problem to warrant the use of heparin anticoagulation. Both unfractionated heparin and low molecular weight heparin can be used. The dose of the former is typically adjusted to maintain the activated clotting time (ACT) between 130 and 160 seconds. Bleeding has been reported in up to 15% of patients treated with heparin, so the ACT must be monitored carefully.


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