Analysis of warfarin therapy in pediatric patients: A prospective cohort study of 319 patients

Blood. 1999 Nov 1;94(9):3007-14.


This study details warfarin use in a large pediatric population followed in a central anticoagulation clinic. A prospective, consecutive cohort of nonselected children were studied. Patients were divided into groups by age, target international normalized ratio (INR) range, disease, medications, and vitamin K supplemented enteral nutrition use. Groups were analyzed on multiple aspects of warfarin therapy using multivariate methods. A total of 319 patients received 352 warfarin courses representing 391 treatment years. Age independently influenced all aspects of therapy. When compared with all older children, the </=1 year of age group required increased warfarin doses, longer overlap with heparin, longer time to achieve target INR ranges, more frequent INR testing and dose adjustments, and fewer INR values in the target range. Although significantly different than children </=1 year, children 1 to 6 years of age showed the same findings when compared with 7- to 18-year-olds. Fontan patients required 25% decreased dosage as compared with other congenital heart disease patients. Children on corticosteroids had less INRs in the target range and children on phenobarbital/carbamazepine required increased maintenance dosages of warfarin. Also, patients receiving enteral nutrition required increased dosages of warfarin. Serious bleeding occurred in 2 children (0.5% per patient year). Recurrent thromboembolic events (TEs) occurred in 8 children. Two children had recurrences while receiving warfarin (1.3% per patient year). This study outlines the profound effect of age and relative complexity of clinical management of warfarin therapy in children.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Anticoagulants / administration & dosage*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Drug Monitoring
  • Female
  • Heparin / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • International Normalized Ratio
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Thromboembolism / drug therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Warfarin / administration & dosage*


  • Anticoagulants
  • Warfarin
  • Heparin