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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the author’s final published version in Global Spine Journal

Volume 7, Issue 3 Supplement, September 2017, Pages 138S-150S.

The published version is available at DOI: 10.1177/2192568217703665. Copyright © Arnold et al.


Study Design: Systematic review. Objectives: The objective of this study was to answer 5 key questions: What is the comparative effectiveness and safety of (1a) anticoagulant thromboprophylaxis compared to no prophylaxis, placebo, or another anticoagulant strategy for preventing deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) after acute spinal cord injury (SCI)? (1b) Mechanical prophylaxis strategies alone or in combination with other strategies for preventing DVT and PE after acute SCI? (1c) Prophylactic inferior vena cava filter insertion alone or in combination with other strategies for preventing DVT and PE after acute SCI? (2) What is the optimal timing to initiate and/or discontinue anticoagulant, mechanical, and/or prophylactic inferior vena cava filter following acute SCI? (3) What is the cost-effectiveness of these treatment options? Methods: A systematic literature search was conducted to identify studies published through February 28, 2015. We sought randomized controlled trials evaluating efficacy and safety of antithrombotic strategies. Strength of evidence was evaluated using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) system. Results: Nine studies satisfied inclusion criteria. We found a trend toward lower risk of DVT in patients treated with enoxaparin. There were no significant differences in rates of DVT, PE, bleeding, and mortality between patients treated with different types of low-molecular-weight heparin or between low-molecular-weight heparin and unfractionated heparin. Combined anticoagulant and mechanical prophylaxis initiated within 72 hours of SCI resulted in lower risk of DVT than treatment commenced after 72 hours of injury. Conclusion: Prophylactic treatments can be used to lower the risk of venous thromboembolic events in patients with acute SCI, without significant increase in risk of bleeding and mortality and should be initiated within 72 hours. © 2017, © The Author(s) 2017.

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