Association between Portal Vein Thrombosis after Umbilical Vein Catheterization and Neonatal Asphyxia

Neonatology. 2024 Mar 22:1-7. doi: 10.1159/000537902. Online ahead of print.


Introduction: Neonatal portal vein thrombosis (PVT) is frequently related to umbilical venous catheterization (UVC), but risk factors remain unclear. This study aims to analyze the variables associated to PVT in near- to full-term newborns with UVC, with a focus on newborns exposed to controlled therapeutic hypothermia (CTH) for hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE).

Methods: This is retrospective cohort study of infants delivered at or after 36 weeks and with a birthweight over 1,500 g. All infants were assessed for UVC location and PVT using ultrasonography performed between day 5 and day 10 after catheterization.

Results: Among 213 eligible patients, PVT was diagnosed in 57 (27%); among them, 54 (95%) were localized in the left portal vein branch. With all significant factors in univariate analysis considered, higher gestational age at birth (adjusted OR 1.35; 95% CI: 1.12-1.64, p = 0.002) and duration of UVC placement (adjusted OR 1.36; 95% CI: 1.11-1.67, p = 0.004) were the main risk factors of PVT. Among 87 infants who were cooled for HIE, 31 (36%) had PVT compared to 26 (21%) in infants without CTH. Using a multivariate model including variables linked to treatment procedures only, an increased PVT incidence was statistically associated with UVC duration (adjusted OR 1.33; 95% CI: 1.08; 1.63, p = 0.01) and CTH (adjusted OR 1.94; 95% CI: 1.04-3.65, p = 0.04).

Conclusion: Left PVT was frequently observed in near- to full-term neonates with UVC. Among factors linked to treatment procedures, both duration of UVC and CTH exposure for HIE were found to be independent risk factors of PVT.

Keywords: Controlled hypothermia; Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy; Neonatal asphyxia; Portal vein thrombosis; Umbilical vein catheterization.