Venous thromboembolism (VTE) and recurrent venous thromboembolism (rVTE) are rare, but significant problems in pediatrics. Current recommendations for anticoagulant therapy arise from adult literature, and there is little data on clinical outcomes following therapeutic low-molecular-weight heparin in children.
All patients <19 years of age that were diagnosed with a VTE or right atrial thrombus via standard imaging methods at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital were retrospectively identified from January 2004 through August 2008. Demographic characteristics, coexisting clinic conditions, description of anticoagulant therapy, and record of rVTE were chronicled following a comprehensive chart review. Descriptive statistics of clinical characteristics and anticoagulation are presented.
Venous thrombosis was identified in 149 children with 21% (31/149) developing a rVTE. Coexisting clinical conditions were identified in 93% of children at initial diagnosis with 48% (71/149) of patients having a coexisting malignancy. Seventy-seven percent (114/149) of children received anticoagulant therapy with UFH (10/114) or enoxaparin (104/114). Neither duration of enoxaparin therapy (>6, 3–6, <3 months) (P = 0.61), nor quality of therapy (≥75% of time on anticoagulation spent with an anti-FXa of 0.5–1.0 U/ml) (P = 1.0) were found to be protective against rVTE.
Anticoagulation with enoxaparin based on adult literature may be suboptimal in preventing rVTE in pediatric populations. Future prospective randomized controlled trials in pediatrics using clinical outcomes with anticoagulant therapy are urgently needed. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2012; 59: 105–109. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.