Clinical and Laboratory Features of 178 Children With Recurrent Epistaxis

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To determine the clinical and laboratory features of 178 children referred for the evaluation of recurrent epistaxis to an outpatient hematology clinic in a university medical center.

Patients and Methods

Medical records of 3681 outpatient pediatric hematology referrals were retrospectively review, and 178 children with recurrent epistaxis from 1985 to 1999 were identified. Historic (other bleeding symptoms: gingival bleeding, easy bruising, menorrhagia, and gross blood in the urine or stool; duration and severity of the epistaxis episodes; and family history of bleeding) and laboratory (complete blood count and coagulation tests) data were analyzed.


There were 103 boys and 75 girls with a median age of 84 months (range 15–219 months). Sixty-seven percent (n = 119) did not have a coagulopathy diagnosed and 33% (n = 59) did. The diagnoses included von Willebrand disease in 33, platelet aggregation disorders in 10, thrombocytopenia in seven, mild factor VIII deficiency in three, Bernard–Soulier syndrome in two, factor VII deficiency in one, factor IX deficiency in one, and factor XI deficiency in one, and coagulation inhibitor in one. Of the historic data, only a family history of bleeding was predictive of diagnosing a coagulopathy (P = 0.023). The duration and severity of the epistaxis and the presence of other bleeding symptoms had no predictive value. Children with a coagulopathy diagnosed had a longer median partial thromboplastin time (PTT) (33.1 vs. 30.5 seconds;P = 0.012).


One-third of children presenting with recurrent epistaxis have a diagnosable coagulopathy. A positive family history and a prolonged PTT are useful predictive data.

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