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Advances in Pharmacological Sciences
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 507151, 14 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/507151
Review Article

Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Heparin and Its Derivatives: A Systematic Review

1Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy Practice, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
2Faculty of Pharmacy, Zabol University of Medical Sciences, Zabol, Iran
3Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Received 24 February 2015; Accepted 24 April 2015

Academic Editor: Berend Olivier

Copyright © 2015 Sarah Mousavi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Background. Heparin, used clinically as an anticoagulant, also has anti-inflammatory properties. The purpose of this systematic review was to provide a comprehensive review regarding the efficacy and safety of heparin and its derivatives as anti-inflammatory agents. Methods. We searched the following databases up to March 2012: Pub Med, Scopus, Web of Science, Ovid, Elsevier, and Google Scholar using combination of Mesh terms. Randomized Clinical Trials (RCTs) and trials with quasi-experimental design in clinical setting published in English were included. Quality assessments of RCTs were performed using Jadad score and Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) checklist. Results. A total of 280 relevant studies were reviewed and 57 studies met the inclusion criteria. Among them 48 studies were RCTs. About 65% of articles had score of 3 and higher according to Jadad score. Twelve studies had a quality score > 40% according to CONSORT items. Asthma (), inflammatory bowel disease (), cardiopulmonary bypass (), and cataract surgery () were the most studied disease condition. Forty studies use unfractionated heparin (UFH) for intervention; the remaining studies use low molecular weight heparin (LMWH). Conclusion. Despite the conflicting results, heparin seems to be a safe and effective anti-inflammatory agent; although it is shown that heparin can decrease the level of inflammatory biomarkers and improves patient conditions, still more data from larger rigorously designed studies are needed to support use of heparin as an anti-inflammatory agent in clinical setting. However, because of the association between inflammation, atherogenesis, thrombogenesis, and cell proliferation, heparin and related compounds with pleiotropic effects may have greater therapeutic efficacy than compounds acting against a single target.