Venous thrombosis in children

J Thromb Haemost. 2003 Jul;1(7):1443-55. doi: 10.1046/j.1538-7836.2003.00308.x.


Venous thromboembolic (VTE) events are being increasingly diagnosed in systemic and cerebral vessels in children. Systemic VTE are increasing in children as a result of therapeutic advances and improved clinical acumen in primary illnesses that previously caused mortality. The epidemiology of systemic VTE has been studied in international registries. In children older than 3 months, teenagers are the largest group developing VTE. The most common etiologic factor is the presence of central venous lines. Clinical studies have determined the most sensitive diagnostic method for diagnosing upper system VTE are ultrasound for jugular venous thrombosis and venography for intrathoracic vessels. However, the most sensitive diagnostic methods for lower system VTE and pulmonary embolism (PE) have not been established. Treatment studies for VTE consist of inadequately powered randomized controlled trials or prospective cohort studies. The long-term outcome of systemic VTE, post-thrombotic syndrome, has been reported in children. Cerebral sinovenous thrombosis (CSVT) is becoming increasingly diagnosed in children due to the recognition of the associated subtle clinical symptoms and improved cerebrovascular imaging. The etiology of CSVT includes thrombophilia, head and neck infections, and systemic illness. Estimates of the incidence and outcome of childhood CSVT have recently become available through the Canadian Pediatric Ischaemic Stroke Registry. Clinical studies have not yet been carried out in children to determine the best method of diagnosis or treatment. There have only been case-series studies carried out in the treatment of CSVT. Properly designed clinical trials are urgently required in children with systemic VTE/PE and CSVT to define the best methods of diagnosis, treatment and long-term management.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anticoagulants / adverse effects
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use
  • Catheterization, Central Venous / adverse effects
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Pulmonary Embolism / diagnosis
  • Pulmonary Embolism / therapy
  • Risk Factors
  • Stroke / diagnosis
  • Stroke / therapy
  • Venous Thrombosis / diagnosis*
  • Venous Thrombosis / therapy*


  • Anticoagulants