Central venous catheter-related thrombosis presenting as superior vena cava syndrome in a haemophilic patient with inhibitors


Manuel D. Carcao, MD, Division of Haematology/Oncology, The Hospital for Sick Children, 555 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M5G 1X8, Canada.
Tel.: + 416 813 5367; fax: + 416 813 5327;
e-mail: manuel.carcao@sickkids.ca


Summary.  We report the case of a 10.5-year-old boy with severe haemophilia A (SHA) and inhibitors who presented with superior vena cava (SVC) obstruction while on immune tolerance induction (ITI) with daily recombinant factor VIII (rFVIII) and factor eight bypassing activity (FEIBA) (75 U kg−1) twice a week. The boy had a right-sided implanted central venous catheter. Imaging revealed a large occlusive thrombus in the SVC with all upper venous system drainage occurring through the azygos and collateral veins. Despite initial success with local thrombolytic therapy using recombinant tissue plasminogen activator, the thrombus persisted. Mechanical thrombolysis and angioplasty resulted in the successful removal of the thrombus and resolution of the SVC syndrome. Unfractionated heparin was used to prevent thrombus reformation/propagation. A work-up did not reveal any underlying genetic prothrombotic risk factors.

The occurrence of such a profoundly symptomatic thromboembolism (TE) in a boy with SHA with inhibitors is unusual. A combination of risk factors, including the ongoing infusion of high doses of FVIII in the context of a disappearance of inhibitors together with the infusion of clotting factors known to be potentially thrombogenic, may place haemophilic patients on ITI (immune tolerance induction) at risk for this rare, life-threatening complication. The appropriate management of TEs in such a setting is unknown.