Impact of ABO Blood Group on the Development of Venous Thromboembolism in Children With Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2021 Aug 1;43(6):216-223. doi: 10.1097/MPH.0000000000001996.


Background: Few studies have evaluated the impact of ABO blood group on the risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in pediatric populations. We performed a systematic review to determine whether children (0 to 18 y old) with non-O blood group have an increased risk of developing VTE compared with those with O blood group.

Methods: We searched Ovid Medline, Embase, PubMed, Cochrane, Web of Science, and CINAHL online databases from inception to December 2018 to find studies involving blood grouping and VTE. Data was collected regarding patients' underlying diseases, sex, age, ABO blood group, and VTE frequency. A meta-analysis using the random effect model was performed, and heterogeneity was assessed with the I2 value.

Results: Among 1280 unique articles identified, 7 studies (3 conference abstracts, 4 peer-reviewed journal articles) involving 609 VTE cases were included in the systematic review. Six studies were eligible for a meta-analysis; all involved patients with cancer. Blood group O was protective against VTE (odds ratio, 0.56; 95% confidence interval, 0.43-0.79). Findings were similar across sensitivity analyses.

Conclusions: This systematic review has documented that O blood group is protective against new-onset VTE in children with cancer. Larger studies across different ethnic backgrounds and disease categories are needed to confirm these findings.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • ABO Blood-Group System / blood*
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / blood
  • Neoplasms / complications*
  • Protective Factors
  • Risk Factors
  • Venous Thromboembolism / blood
  • Venous Thromboembolism / etiology*


  • ABO Blood-Group System