Neonatal and infant pulmonary thromboembolism
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Pulmonary thromboembolism (PTE) is rare in neonates and infants; however evidence suggests it is underdiagnosed. The primary objective is to conduct a scientific review to determine if the presentation, diagnosis, treatment and outcomes of neonates and infants with PTE are consistent across studies. Secondly, to develop an algorithm to establish the diagnosis and management of the condition based on current information. Two authors searched the literature independently using existing databases and verified that identical articles were assembled. Infants aged less than 1 year with PTE were included and further categorized into neonates 28 days or less and infants 29 days to 1 year or less. Forty-five articles with 157 cases (121 neonates; 36 infants) were identified with PTE. All of the reports were descriptive and neither randomized controlled trials nor prospective or case-control studies were identified. The reports are sub-classified into cases of pulmonary air embolism (PAE) with a higher mortality rate and patients with PTE. Diagnostic and treatment strategies varied widely and were individually case-based, dependent on clinical findings, which influenced patient outcomes. Scientific data to guide an evidence-based, diagnostic and treatment approach to PTE is limited because of the absence of rigorous clinical trials. Large scale, multicenter collaborative studies are required to firmly establish the management of PTE in this population.
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