Heparin’s COVID-19 benefit greatest in moderately ill patien
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Therapeutic levels of heparin can have widely varying effects on COVID-19 patients depending on the severity of their disease, according to a multiplatform clinical trial that analyzed patient data from three international trials. COVID-19 patients in the ICU, or at least receiving ICU-level care, derived no benefit from anticoagulation with heparin, while non–critically ill COVID-19 patients – those who were hospitalized but not receiving ICU-level care – on the same anticoagulation were less likely to progress to need respiratory or cardiovascular organ support despite a slightly heightened risk of bleeding events.

Outcomes-based on disease severity

The multiplatform trial analyzed data from the Antithrombotic Therapy to Ameliorate Complications of COVID-19 (ATTACC); A Multicenter, Adaptive, Randomized Controlled Platform Trial of the Safety and Efficacy of Antithrombotic Strategies in Hospitalized Adults with COVID-19 (ACTIV-4a); and Randomized, Embedded, Multifactorial Adaptive Platform Trial for Community-Acquired Pneumonia (REMAP-CAP).

The trial evaluated 2,219 non–critically ill hospitalized patients, 1,181 of whom were randomized to therapeutic-dose anticoagulation; and 1,098 critically ill patients, 534 of whom were prescribed therapeutic levels of heparin.