Patients with liver cancer and portal vein thrombosis do not benefit from anticoagulation.
Anticoagulation does not appear to help, and may in fact harm, patients with liver cancer and portal vein thrombosis (PVT), new research shows.
Use of anticoagulants in these patients varies from medical center to medical center and between individual physicians, according to Alan A. Weiss, MD, a gastroenterologist and clinical professor at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver. However, the use of anticoagulants to treat patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and PVT has never been examined. As a result, no data are available on the benefits of such therapy. But patients with HCC are at risk for bleeding-related complications, which could be exacerbated by anticoagulation, said Dr. Weiss, whose group presented its findings at the 2016 Canadian Digestive Diseases Week (abstract A97).
“My observation of patients with HCC and PVT suggested [anticoagulation] is possibly not necessary,” said Dr. Weiss, in whose center some physicians were using anticoagulation in HCC patients with PVT and others were not.
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