Thrombosis in Pediatric Patients with Intestinal Failure

G Keefe et al. J Pediatr 2023; 253: 152-157. High Rate of Venous Thromboembolism in Severe Pediatric Intestinal Failure

This retrospective study (n=263) examined the rate of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in pediatric patients who required parenteral nutrition for at least 90 consecutive days.

Key findings:

  • The cumulative incidence of VTE was 28.1%, with a rate of 0.32 VTEs per 1000 catheter-days
  • The number of catheters and early gestational age were noted to be independent risk factors for VTE
  • No patients had progression of thrombus while receiving therapeutic anticoagulation
  • Of those with acute DVTs (n=47), 24 (51%)resolved on repeat imaging, 14 (30%)were stable, and and 9 (19%) had decreased
  • 4.4% (2 of 45) had a major bleed while on anticoagulation

The authors note that the true rate of VTE is likely even higher because only 42% categorized as not having a VTE had undergone dedicated venous imaging.

My take: A lot of patients with intestinal failure develop VTE. Given the risks of treatment, the role of prophylactic anticoagulation remains unclear. This is where a prospective study would be helpful.

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