A prospective, longitudinal study of central venous catheter-related deep venous thrombosis in boys with hemophilia

V E Price, M Carcao, B Connolly, P Chait, A Daneman, M Temple, A M Stain, L Sung, H Al-Tralbosi, V S Blanchette
Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis: JTH 2004, 2 (5): 737-42

BACKGROUND: Central venous catheters (CVCs) are often inserted into boys with hemophilia to secure venous access for factor prophylaxis and immune tolerance induction therapy. Complications associated with CVCs include catheter-related infections, local hemorrhage, and mechanical failure. Less frequently reported is CVC-related deep venous thrombosis (DVT). We conducted a prospective study to determine the frequency and outcome of this complication.

METHODS: All boys (n = 16) with congenital hemophilia A or B with a CVC in place who were registered in the pediatric comprehensive care program at the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, were included in the study. They were prospectively assessed by imaging studies and clinical examinations for CVC-related DVT at two time-points, 2 years apart. Each boy was evaluated for inherited hypercoagulability.

RESULTS: Eleven (69%) of the 16 boys had radiological evidence of DVT at the first evaluation and 13/16 (81%) at the second evaluation. In two boys there was improvement in the venogram findings at the second evaluation. None of the CVC-related DVTs completely resolved. Median age at the time of initial insertion of a CVC was 1.0 years (range 0.02-6.7 years). Median duration of CVC placement was 6.4 years (range 3.3-15.5 years). Only 4/13 boys with DVTs had clinical evidence of upper venous system obstruction. Only one boy, who did not develop a DVT, had a low protein C level.

CONCLUSIONS: CVC-related DVTs occur in the majority of boys with hemophilia who have CVCs inserted for a prolonged period of time. Annual screening with imaging is recommended for boys with CVCs in place for >/= 3 years. Consideration should be given to removing CVCs as soon as peripheral venous access is feasible.

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