Thombolytic therapy in preterm infants: Fifteen-year experience

Priscila Grizante-Lopes, Marlene Pereira Garanito, Daniele Martins Celeste, Vera Lucia Jornada Krebs, Jorge David Aivazoglou Carneiro
Pediatric Blood & Cancer 2020 July 25, : e28544

OBJECTIVE: To report a single-center experience with thrombolytic therapy using recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA) in preterm neonates with severe thrombotic events, in terms of thrombus resolution and bleeding complications.

STUDY DESIGN: This retrospective study included 21 preterm neonates with severe venous thrombotic events admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit, identified in our pharmacy database from January 2001 to December 2016, and treated with rt-PA until complete or partial clot lysis, no-response or bleeding complications. Our primary outcome was thrombus resolution.

RESULTS: Twenty-one preterm neonates were treated with rt-PA for an average of 2.9 cycles. Seventeen patients (80.9%) had superior vena cava thrombosis and superior vena cava syndrome. All patients had a central venous catheter, parenteral nutrition, mechanical ventilation, and sepsis. Fifteen patients (71.4%) were extremely preterm, 11 (52.4%) were extremely low birth weight, and seven (33.3%) were very low birth weight. The patency rate was 85.7%, complete lysis occurred in 11 (52.4%) patients, and partial lysis in seven (33.3%). Minor bleeding occurred in five (23.8%) patients, three patients (14.2%) had clinically relevant nonmajor bleeding events, and major bleeding occurred in six (28%) patients.

CONCLUSION: In this study, the rate of thrombus resolution in preterm neonates treated with rt-PA were similar to the percentages reported in children and adolescents, with a high rate of bleeding. Therefore, rt-PA thrombolytic therapy should only be considered as a treatment option for severe life-threatening thrombosis in premature neonates for whom the benefits of the thrombolytic treatment outweigh the risks of bleeding.

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