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Damaged veins heal faster with heparin treatment

March 14, 2008

A commonly used medication that prevents blood clots from forming may also prevent existing clots from damaging delicate vein walls — and may accelerate healing in a clot-damaged area of vein wall, according to new research from the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center.The findings, made in laboratory mice, add more evidence to support the aggressive anti-clot efforts now under way at American hospitals and nursing homes. Those efforts are aimed at preventing many of the 300,000 deaths that occur each year when clots break free of vein walls and travel to the lungs.The new study, published in the March issue of the Journal of Vascular Surgery, looked at the impact of low-molecular weight heparin, or LMWH, a form of anti-clotting medication that is often given to hospitalized patients. It’s different from the unfractionated form of heparin that has recently been the subject of safety concerns.
Researchers from the U-M Section of Vascular Surgery created venous clots in laboratory mice, and studied how the size of the clot, the damage inflicted on the vein wall, and the natural repair process in the cells of the vein wall changed over time. Some of the mice received LMWH before the clot was formed, while others received it afterward. Another group of mice received no heparin. Read the rest of this article here… 

University of Michigan Health System [ via EurekAlert]

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