Natural history of arterial and venous thrombosis in children treated with low molecular weight heparin: a longitudinal study by ultrasound1
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Low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) is efficacious in preventing recurrent thromboembolic events (TEs) in children. The efficacy of LMWH in resolving thrombus in children is, however, unknown and may differ from what has been observed in adults due to known differences in the hemostatic system. We reviewed the ultrasound (US) scanning reports of children treated with LMWH in order to determine the rate and predictors of thrombus resolution. Of 245 children consecutively treated for a non-cerebral TE with enoxaparin (Lovenox, Aventis Pharma Inc., QC, Canada) for at least 5 consecutive days, 190 (78%) had serial ultrasound available for analysis. The mean follow-up time was 7 months (median 3 months, range 3 days to 6.6 years). The rate of complete thrombus resolution was 101/190 (53%, 95% confidence interval 46.2-60.2%). On univariate analysis, arterial and non-occlusive thrombus had an increased rate of resolution when compared with venous and occlusive thrombus. Age at time of TE (neonates vs. non-neonates), location of TE, initial treatment (unfractionated heparin vs. LMWH) and dose of enoxaparin were not related to outcome. On multivariate analysis, type of vessel (vein vs. artery) and occlusion (occlusive vs. non-occlusive thrombus) independently predicted outcome. In children, the rate of complete thrombus resolution is similar to the rate in adults. The clinical significance of residual abnormal vessels, specifically to the occurrence of post-thrombotic syndrome and for the diagnosis of recurrence, needs to be explored in prospective studies.
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