Venous thromboembolism in the setting of pediatric traumatic brain injury

J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2014 Apr;13(4):448-55. doi: 10.3171/2014.1.PEDS13479. Epub 2014 Feb 21.


Object: The risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in children with traumatic brain injury (TBI) has not been well characterized given its rarity in the pediatric population. Investigation of risk factors for VTE in this group requires the use of a large sample size. Using nationally representative hospital discharge data for 2009, the authors of this study characterize the incidence and risk factors for VTE in children hospitalized for TBI.

Methods: The authors conducted a cross-sectional study using data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Kids' Inpatient Database to examine VTE in TBI-associated hospitalizations for patients 20 years of age or younger during the year 2009.

Results: There were 58,529 children with TBI-related admissions, including 267 with VTE diagnoses. Venous thromboembolisms occurred in 4.6 per 1000 TBI-associated hospitalizations compared with 1.2 per 1000 pediatric hospitalizations overall. By adjusted logistic regression, patients significantly more likely to be diagnosed with VTE had the following: older age of 15-20 years (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 3.7, 95% CI 1.8-8.0), venous catheterization (aOR 3.0, 95% CI 2.0-4.6), mechanical ventilation (aOR 1.9, 95% CI 1.2-2.9), tracheostomy (aOR 2.3, 95% CI 1.3-4.0), nonaccidental trauma (aOR 2.8, 95% CI 1.1-6.9), increased length of stay (aOR 1.02, 95% CI 1.01-1.03), orthopedic surgery (aOR 2.4, 95% CI 1.8-3.4), and cranial surgery (aOR 1.8, 95% CI 1.1-2.8).

Conclusions: Using the Kids' Inpatient Database, the authors found that risk factors for VTE in the setting of TBI in the pediatric population include older age, venous catheterization, nonaccidental trauma, increased length of hospital stay, orthopedic surgery, and cranial surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Brain Injuries / complications*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Length of Stay
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Venous Cutdown
  • Venous Thromboembolism / epidemiology*
  • Venous Thromboembolism / etiology*
  • Young Adult