Spontaneous neonatal arterial thromboembolism
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Neonatal spontaneous arterial thromboembolism is a rare phenomenon with a high risk of morbidity and mortality. Currently, there is little information regarding common risk factors, diagnostic strategies, therapeutic interventions, and outcomes of this condition. The objective was to nucleate the best evidence regarding the disorder in order to facilitate early detection and treatment recommendations and document adverse outcomes. Web of Science, PubMed, Medline, CINAHL, Cochrane Databases, DARE, and OVID databases were searched using the following keywords: 'arterial' AND 'thrombus' OR 'thrombosis' OR 'thromboembolism' OR 'embolism' AND 'spontaneous' AND 'at birth' OR 'newborn' OR 'neonatal' OR 'fetal' AND 'umbilical cord' OR 'umbilical wall necrosis' AND 'coagulation abnormality' OR 'placenta bits' OR 'ischemic limbs'. The search yielded 172 articles, all of which were case series or single case descriptions. Twenty-seven met inclusion criteria, with a total of 53 newborns and 30 newborn pathology reports. Ultrasound was the preferred method of diagnosis and thromboembolic locations varied with the most common site being umbilical, resulting in embolism and vascular compromise. Treatment interventions and drug dosages were not standardized and ranged from use of anticoagulants to surgery and hyperbaric oxygen. The reported mortality rate was 32.8%. Recurring etiological features facilitated identification of possible sequences of events contributing to the disorder. The literature lacks empirical evidence to affirm causes and predisposing risk factors for timely diagnosis and effective treatment of spontaneous neonatal arterial thromboembolism. Further research is needed to clearly establish the causes and the efficacy of specific treatment options.
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