Neonatal renal vein thrombosis (RVT) continues to pose significant challenges for pediatric hematologists and nephrologists. The precise mechanism for the onset and propagation of renal thrombosis within the neonatal population is unclear, but there is suggestion that acquired and/or inherited thrombophilia traits may increase the risk for renal thromboembolic disease during the newborn period. This review summarizes the most recent studies of neonatal RVT, examining its most common features, the prevalence of acquired and inherited prothrombotic risk factors among these patients, and evaluates their short and long term renal and thrombotic outcomes as they may relate to these risk factors. Although there is some consensus regarding the management of neonatal RVT, the most recent antithrombotic therapy guidelines for the management of childhood thrombosis do not provide a risk-based algorithm for the acute management of RVT among newborns with hereditary prothrombotic disorders. Whereas neonatal RVT is not a condition associated with a high mortality rate, it is associated with significant morbidity due to renal impairment. Recent evidence to evaluate the effects of heparin-based anticoagulation and thrombolytic therapy on the long term renal function of these patients has yielded conflicting results. Long term cohort studies and randomized trials may be helpful to clarify the impact of acute versus prolonged antithrombotic therapy for reducing the morbidity that is associated with neonatal RVT.
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