Pediatric venous thromboembolism in the United States: a tertiary care complication of chronic diseases

Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2012 Aug;59(2):258-64. doi: 10.1002/pbc.23388. Epub 2011 Oct 28.


Background: Pediatric venous thromboembolism (VTE) is an increasingly common problem. We hypothesized that VTE occurs most commonly in tertiary care settings and that the pattern of associated illnesses may have changed from earlier reports.

Methods: The Kids' Inpatient Database 2006 was utilized to identify children ≤ 18 years old with in-hospital VTE. Children were identified by the presence of thrombosis specific ICD-9-CM diagnosis or procedure codes. Remaining ICD-9-CM codes were utilized to categorize patients by acute or chronic illness. The incidence of in-hospital VTE by hospital type, age, gender, race, and disposition were estimated.

Results: Over 4,500 children met the inclusion criteria (188/100,000 discharges). Most VTE discharges (67.5%) were from children's hospitals (RR 5.09; 95% CI 4.76; 5.44). Underlying chronic illnesses were associated with most VTE (76.2%), most commonly: cardiovascular (18.4%), malignancy (15.7%), and neuromuscular disease (9.9%). VTE not associated with chronic illness were most often idiopathic (12.6%), followed by infections (9.5%), and trauma (9.1%). The greatest proportions of children with VTE were infants (23.1%) and adolescents (37.8%). However, when standardized against the entire database of discharges, infants were least likely to develop VTE (RR 0.48; 95% CI 0.43; 0.52), while adolescents were at highest risk (RR 1.89; 95% CI 1.73; 2.07). Hospitalizations ending with death were more likely to include VTE (RR 6.16; 95% CI 5.32; 7.13).

Conclusions: Pediatric VTE is most commonly seen in tertiary care. Adolescents are at greatest risk to develop in-hospital VTE. Patients whose hospitalization ended with death are at much greater risk to develop VTE.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hospitalization
  • Hospitals, Pediatric
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • International Classification of Diseases
  • Male
  • Neuromuscular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Neuromuscular Diseases / etiology
  • Prognosis
  • Tertiary Prevention*
  • Venous Thromboembolism / epidemiology*
  • Venous Thromboembolism / etiology*