Deep Vein Thrombosis: Thrombolysis in the Pediatric Population

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Abstract

Improved medical treatment options have advanced pediatric care but often necessitate both invasive vascular procedures and venous access predisposing these patients to venous thrombotic events. Although pediatric deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is an increasingly recognized phenomenon, high-quality evidence for its antithrombotic treatment in general remains limited, and even more so with respect to thrombolytic therapy. Correspondingly, current American College of Chest Physicians guidelines discourage the routine use of thrombolytic therapy for pediatric DVT; by contrast, American Heart Association guidelines suggest consideration for such therapy in young patients in whom the balance of benefit to risk may be most favorable. The developing hemostatic system and relative rarity of thrombotic events have historically posed impediments to the design and conduction of prospective clinical trials of thrombolysis in children. This narrative review summarizes available information regarding thrombolytic therapy for pediatric DVT.

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