MARK I. TARAGIN, M.D.
To the editor: Doyle and coworkers (1) discuss adjusted subcutaneous heparin compared with continuous intravenous heparin in patients with acute deep vein thrombosis. There are many interesting observations, especially about the subject of silent pulmonary embolism, but I have grave reservations about their conclusions.
In a study that attempts to show no difference between two alternatives, a power analysis, to show the ability of the study to detect a difference if it exists, is crucial. Indeed, Freiman and associates (2) showed this deficiency in the literature. If one calculates an odds ratio with a 95% confidence interval, one finds that
TARAGIN MI. Alternate Methods of Heparin Administration. Ann Intern Med. ;108:306–307. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-108-2-306
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1988;108(2):306-307.
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