Delayed efficient anticoagulation with heparin in patients with a weight of 110 kg and more treated for acute coronary syndrome


  • Disclosure: The authors declared no conflict of interest.

Correspondence: Paul Farand (



The use of a weight-based nomogram is considered as standard care for prescribing appropriate doses of unfractionated heparin (UFH). Because of the need for multiple other medications that may affect bleeding and that clinical data have relied on similar dosing algorithms, maximum initial bolus and infusion rates have been suggested (capped initial dose). Whether these weight-based heparin nomograms properly address therapeutic dosing in obese patients remains questionable.

Design and Methods

Thirty patients treated for acute coronary syndrome and weighing ≥110 kg were retrospectively compared with 90 controls (three groups of 30 patients, weighting 50-69.9, 70-89.9, or 90-109.9 kg), all treated with UFH, July 2008 to April 2009. The primary end point was the time required to obtain a threshold activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT).


Mean time to achieve threshold aPTT was longer for obese patients weighing ≥110 kg than for controls (31.47 vs. 12.89 hours; P < 0.0001). At 24 hours, 63% of obese patients weighing ≥110 kg had not reached threshold aPTT vs. 7% of controls (P < 0.0001). However, threshold infusion rate did not differ between weight categories (13.0 vs. 13.1 U/kg/h; P = NS) and approximated the initial infusion rate recommended by nomograms without applying the dose cap (12 U/kg/h).


Adequate anticoagulation time doubled in patients weighing ≥110 kg, suggesting that these patients were not receiving appropriate heparin doses initially to achieve threshold aPTT rapidly. Using initial infusion rate recommended by a nomogram without capping for total body weight is suggested as acceptable in this study. This approach should be further evaluated in a prospective study.