Catheter-Related Venous Thrombosis in Pediatric Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

A recent retrospective study (CE Diamond et al. J Pediatr 2018; 198: 53-9) examined the issue of catheter-related venous thrombosis in pediatric inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients (2015-17).

In total, 40 patients (47 hospitalizations, median age 14 yrs) with IBD were reviewed.  At the discretion of the treating physician, anticoagulation therapy (AT) with enoxaparin was administered in some children due to the recognized increase risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE).  This protocol did NOT evaluate for subclinical venous thrombotic events.  Detection of VTE was undertaken in those who became symptomatic (eg. pain or swelling).

AT protocol: 

  • In patients less than 40 kg, the starting dose of enoxaparin was 0.5 mg/kg/dose SC every 12 hrs with anti-factor Xa levels drawn 4-6 hours after the patient had received at least 2 doses with a target level of 0.1-0.3 U/mL. The first dose was administered on the same day as CVC placement but after placement.
  • In patients >40 kg, a fixed dose of 40 mg of enoxaparin SC every 24 hrs without laboratory monitoring

Key findings:

  • 5 of 23 (22%) hospitalizations without AT developed VTE; in contrast 0 of 24 with AT prophylaxis.  Mean duration of AT was 11 days.
  • All five who developed VTE had complete resolution after treatment with anticoagulation Rx. No cases of genetic thrombophilia were identified.
  • Bleeding issues were similar in the two groups –46% of those receiving AT Rx required at least one blood transfusion compared with 39% who did not receive AT Rx.

Overall, these groups (with and without AT Rx) had similar demographic features and had severe active IBD.  Most were receiving biologic therapy and the majority were receiving steroids.  The authors observed a trend towards more use of AT over the study period, “suggesting increased comfort levels of treating physician…even in the presence of rectal bleeding.”

My take: This relatively small study found that AT Rx reduced the rate of CVC-related venous thrombosis.  A larger prospective study is needed to confirm the potential benefit of AT treatment.

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Artwork near Azalea Drive/Chattahoochee river

Disclaimer: These blog posts are for educational purposes only. Specific dosing of medications (along with potential adverse effects) should be confirmed by prescribing physician.  This content is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a condition.

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