Treatment and Prophylaxis of Catheter-Related Thromboembolic Events in Children

Lucía Cortejoso, Silvia Manrique-Rodríguez, Cecilia M. Fernández-Llamazares, María Sanjurjo-Sáez


Purpose. The therapeutic management of catheter-related thromboembolic events in children is still a challenge due to the large number of potentially effective pharmacological alternatives and the insufficient scientific evidence available. A bibliographic review was performed in order to identify the available pharmacological alternatives for the prophylaxis and therapeutic management of catheter-related thrombosis in children. Methods. A literature search was carried out on MEDLINE using the medical subject heading (MeSH) central venous catheter thrombosis and on Google Scholar. The search was limited to review papers, meta-analyses, clinical practice guidelines, and randomized controlled trials performed on pediatric populations until November 2011. Results. The different options for anticoagulation include unfractionated heparin, low molecular weight heparin and vitamin K antagonists. Thrombus resolution is stimulated more rapidly with thrombolytic agents than with anticoagulants, but the risk-benefit ratio must be considered. Streptokinase is not considered an optimal alternative due to the risk of anaphylactic reactions and has been replaced by urokinase, alteplase or the newer reteplase. Preventive strategies have been considered and most centers have protocols for routine flushing of the catheter with heparin or normal saline. Intraluminal application of urokinase and alteplase has also been studied. Conclusions. The wide range of options available for the pharmacotherapeutic management of catheter-related thromboembolism in children and the lack of strong evidence on the comparative efficacy and safety of the different therapeutic options, make its positioning rather difficult. Randomized controlled trials and national plans should be set up urgently.

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J Pharm Pharm Sci, 15 (5): 632-641, 2012

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