Thrombosis in children with cardiac pathology: analysis of acquired and inherited risk factors.

Research paper by Bulent B Alioglu, Zekai Z Avci, Kursat K Tokel, F Belgin FB Atac, Namik N Ozbek

Indexed on: 13 May '08Published on: 13 May '08Published in: Blood coagulation & fibrinolysis : an international journal in haemostasis and thrombosis


The present study was conducted to analyze the features and risk factors of childhood thrombotic events in patients with cardiac defect followed-up at our hospital. The clinical and laboratory findings of 59 patients diagnosed with cardiac defects and thromboses between 1997 and 2006 were retrospectively analyzed. Thirty-one children (52.5%) had venous system thromboses, 21 (35.6%) had arterial system thromboses, and seven (11.9%) had venous and arterial system thromboses. Presence of congenital heart disease and cardiomyopathy (CMP) were significant risk factors for developing intracardiac thrombosis. In addition, presence of congenital heart disease was the significant statistical risk factor for developing left atrium and right ventricle thromboses. Presence of congenital heart disease was a significant risk factor for developing a central nervous system thrombosis. Presence of pulmonary stenosis and aortic coarctation were significant risk factors for developing a peripheral arterial system thrombosis. Acquired risk factors including major surgery, angiography, central venous catheter, systemic infection, and hypoxia were identified in 49 of the 59 patients. Many patients had more than one of these acquired risk factors. Analysis of the relationship between thrombosis and type of major surgery demonstrated a statistically significant relationship between an intracardiac thrombosis and total correction of tetralogy of Fallot and a peripheral venous system thrombosis and a Blalock Taussig shunt. Twenty-three of the 52 patients (44.2%) had at least one thrombophilic mutation. Overall, a heterozygous factor V Leiden mutation was found in nine patients (17.3%), a methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase 677C-T mutation in 15 patients (28.8%), and a PT 20210G-A mutation in three patients (5.8%). Our data suggest that cardiac defects are common risk factors for developing a childhood thrombosis. The type of disorder determines the site of thrombosis. Acquired risk factors may contribute to the development of a thrombosis. The results of this study also indicate that to ensure early diagnosis, routine screening for thrombosis should be performed in patients with a cardiac defect and that screening for factor V Leiden and PT 20210G-A mutations and other genetic risk factors should be included when assessing all patients with cardiac defects who present with a thrombosis, whether or not a predisposing factor has been identified.

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