Intern Med J. 2023 Sep 15. doi: 10.1111/imj.16227. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Nephrotic syndrome (NS) is associated with an increased incidence of venous thromboembolism (VTE), approximately 10%. We performed a systematic review to evaluate the efficacy and safety of prophylactic anticoagulation in patients with NS.
METHODS: Studies evaluating prophylactic anticoagulation in NS were identified by an electronic search of MEDLINE and EMBASE databases until December 2021. Weighted mean proportion and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of thromboembolic and haemorrhagic events were calculated using a fixed-effects and a random-effects model. The differences in the outcomes among groups were estimated as pooled odds ratio (OR) and corresponding 95% CI. Statistical heterogeneity was evaluated using the I2 statistic.
RESULTS: Five cohort studies, for a total of 414 adult patients, were included. Only two studies had a control group. The weighted mean incidence of pulmonary embolism (PE) and deep vein thrombosis in patients who received VTE prophylaxis was 1.8% (95% CI: 0.6-3.5%; I2 : 4.4%) and 0.9% (95% CI: 0.2-2.2%; I2 : 43.4%) respectively. The weighted mean incidence of major bleeding in patients who received VTE prophylaxis was 2.3% (95% CI: 1-4.2%; I2 : 25.4%). Patients with NS that received VTE prophylaxis had a non-significant reduced risk of PE (OR: 0.63 (95% CI: 0.03-14.8; I2 : 64.4%)) and an increased risk of major bleeding (OR: 2.08 (95% CI: 0.41-10.45; I2 : 0%)) compared to patients with NS that did not receive VTE prophylaxis.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that prophylactic anticoagulation in adult patients with primary NS may reduce the risk of VTE, even if it may be associated with a not negligible bleeding risk.