Objective: To determine whether warfarin can be safely administered to children who require long-term total parenteral nutrition (TPN), for the purpose of preventing central venous access device (CVAD)-related thrombosis.
Methods: A prospective cohort study was conducted of 8 children with short-gut syndrome or small intestinal anomalies. All patients received oral anticoagulant therapy (warfarin) managed by the hematology department at a tertiary pediatric center. Data collected included demographic details, nutritional intake, age, weight, history of deep vein thrombosis, number and functional duration of CVADs, warfarin requirements, and adverse event rates.
Results: A total of 15.2 warfarin years were studied prospectively. The target therapeutic range was achieved 51.1% of time. The mean dose of warfarin required to achieve the target therapeutic range (international normalized ratio) of 2.0 to 3.0 was 0.33 mg/kg/d. The mean duration between warfarin monitoring tests was 6.6 days. The median vitamin K intake per patient was 0.367 mg/kg/d (range: 0.018-2.85 mg/kg/d). Before commencing anticoagulant therapy, the mean CVAD duration was 160.9 days. Concomitant warfarin therapy was associated with a mean CVAD duration of 351.7 days. There were no major bleeding events, and no clinical extension of thrombosis was observed.
Conclusions: This is the first published study to report uniform warfarin prophylaxis for CVADs in children. Warfarin therapy can be administered safely in children who require long-term TPN. Warfarin prophylaxis seems to prolong CVAD survival.