Background: Neonates and children differ from adults in physiology, pharmacologic responses to drugs, epidemiology, and long-term consequences of thrombosis. This guideline addresses optimal strategies for the management of thrombosis in neonates and children.
Methods: The methods of this guideline follow those described in the Methodology for the Development of Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis Guidelines: Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis, 9th ed: American College of Chest Physicians Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines.
Results: We suggest that where possible, pediatric hematologists with experience in thromboembolism manage pediatric patients with thromboembolism (Grade 2C). When this is not possible, we suggest a combination of a neonatologist/pediatrician and adult hematologist supported by consultation with an experienced pediatric hematologist (Grade 2C). We suggest that therapeutic unfractionated heparin in children is titrated to achieve a target anti-Xa range of 0.35 to 0.7 units/mL or an activated partial thromboplastin time range that correlates to this anti-Xa range or to a protamine titration range of 0.2 to 0.4 units/mL (Grade 2C). For neonates and children receiving either daily or bid therapeutic low-molecular-weight heparin, we suggest that the drug be monitored to a target range of 0.5 to 1.0 units/mL in a sample taken 4 to 6 h after subcutaneous injection or, alternatively, 0.5 to 0.8 units/mL in a sample taken 2 to 6 h after subcutaneous injection (Grade 2C).
Conclusions: The evidence supporting most recommendations for antithrombotic therapy in neonates and children remains weak. Studies addressing appropriate drug target ranges and monitoring requirements are urgently required in addition to site- and clinical situation-specific thrombosis management strategies.