Adenotonsillectomy in patients with desmopressin responsive mild bleeding disorders: a review of the literature

Haemophilia. 2010 Sep 1;16(5):711-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2516.2009.02145.x. Epub 2009 Dec 16.


Many patients with mild inherited bleeding disorders such as von Willebrand disease (VWD), mild haemophilia A (HA) and platelet function defects (PFD) undergo adenoidectomy and/or tonsillectomy (AT) procedures each year. Management of bleeding in these patients can be challenging, as little published data exist to guide haemostatic management during these relatively common procedures. Therefore, the literature was reviewed to identify AT procedures in patients with 1-deamino-8-D-argine vasopressin responsive mild bleeding disorders. The review revealed no randomized prospective trials of haemostatic management in this patient population. Case reports and small case series identified 144 patients who had AT procedures. Frequency of desmopressin and antifibrinolytic dosing varied widely. Fifteen percentage of patients experienced postoperative bleeding with nearly half being early (<24 h) bleeding and half being late (>24 h) bleeding. Hyponatraemia complicated the procedures in 47% of cases and six hyponatremic seizures were reported. Issues identified by this review that need to be addressed in future clinical trials include type and amount of fluid restriction when utilizing desmopressin, duration of antifibrinolytic therapy and duration and frequency of desmopressin dosing.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenoidectomy*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antifibrinolytic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Deamino Arginine Vasopressin / administration & dosage
  • Deamino Arginine Vasopressin / therapeutic use*
  • Hemophilia A / complications*
  • Hemostatics / administration & dosage
  • Hemostatics / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Hyponatremia / etiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Hemorrhage / drug therapy*
  • Tonsillectomy*
  • Young Adult
  • von Willebrand Diseases / complications*


  • Antifibrinolytic Agents
  • Hemostatics
  • Deamino Arginine Vasopressin