Part 4: Venous Thromboembolism
Elisabeth M. Battinelli, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Associate Physician, Division of Hematology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA
Jean M. Connors, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Medical Director, Anticoagulation Management Service, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA
A 39-year-old woman with stage IIIa breast cancer is scheduled to receive her next dose of chemotherapy. When she arrives at the oncologistís office, he notes that her left leg is swollen. The patient is sent for ultrasonography, which reveals a large DVT in her femoral vein. The oncologist recommends that the patient start on anticoagulation with low molecular weight heparin (LMWH). The patient asks how long she will need to remain on the LMWH. Which of the following statements regarding this patientís anticoagulation therapy is most correct?