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Thromboembolism prophylaxis practices of pediatric and congenital electrophysiologists during invasive electrophysiology studies: A PACES survey.

BACKGROUND: Thromboembolic events related to invasive electrophysiology studies, while rare, can have devastating consequences. Use of systemic anticoagulation for a pediatric or adult-congenital invasive electrophysiology study is recommended, however there is no established standard of practice in this population.

OBJECTIVE: To report on procedural practices for thromboembolism prophylaxis during invasive electrophysiology studies for pediatric patients and adults with congenital heart disease.

METHODS: An anonymous web-based survey was sent to the members of the Pediatric and Congenital Electrophysiology Society. The survey focused on pre-procedural, intra-procedural, and post-procedural thromboembolism prophylaxis practices during invasive electrophysiology studies. Significant practice variation was defined as <90% concordance among respondents.

RESULTS: Survey was completed by 73 members; 52 (71%) practicing in the United States, 65 (89%) practicing in an academic institution, and 14 (19%) in an institution that performs more than 200 invasive electrophysiology procedures annually. Responses showed significant variation in practice. Prior to an invasive electrophysiology procedure, 25% discontinue aspirin while 47% discontinue anticoagulants. Heparin is given for all procedures by 32%. When heparin is administered, the first dose is given by 32% after sheaths are placed, 42% after crossing into the systemic atrium, and 26% just prior to systemic-side ablation. Most target an activated clotting time between 200-300 seconds. Post systemic-side ablation, 58% do not initiate a heparin infusion. Post-procedural oral agents were initiated on day of procedure by 34% of respondents and on post-procedure day 1 by 53%. If treating with aspirin, 74% use low-dose (3-5 mg/kg or 81 mg daily), and 68% treat for 4-6 weeks.

CONCLUSION: There is significant variation in thromboembolism prophylaxis for invasive EP studies among pediatric and congenital electrophysiologists. Further studies are needed to optimize the management of thromboembolism prophylaxis in this population.

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