Recent publications have increasingly demonstrated a link between superficial-vein thrombosis (SVT) and deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) in the adult population and have led to changes in SVT treatment considerations. A similar relationship between SVT and DVT in pediatric populations, however, is not currently well established.
We sought to evaluate the temporal and anatomic relationship between SVT and DVT among pediatric inpatients in order to determine to what degree SVT is associated with DVT.
We first retrospectively reviewed our institution’s local prospective hospital-acquired VTE (HA-VTE) registry to identify all children (age 0-21 years, inclusive) admitted to Children’s Hospital Colorado for more than 48 h between January 2012 and September 2017 who developed a DVT while hospitalized. We then reviewed each patient’s electronic health record for evidence of SVT to identify SVT + DVT cases. Afterwards, we utilized a list of ICD codes to identify all patients during this time frame who developed an SVT and removed patients whom we previously identified as SVT + DVT cases to obtain the number of patients with isolated SVT.
Of 59,910 patients admitted during the study period, 438 (0.7%) developed a thrombosis while hospitalized – 197 (0.3%) with isolated SVT, 161 (0.3%) with isolated DVT, and 80 (0.1%) with both SVT + DVT. These 80 SVT + DVT patients represent 33% of the 241 total DVT patients and 29% of the 277 total SVT patients. Of the 12 SVT + DVT patients in whom the SVT was diagnosed before the DVT, the subsequent DVT occurred within a mean of 6.4 (range 1-22) days and at the same anatomic site in 6 (50%). The age breakdown for this cohort was: 0 (0%) 0-1 months, 2 (17%) 1 month-2 years, 3 (25%) 2-12 years, 3 (25%) 12-16 years, and 4 (33%) 16-21 years.
Our results indicate a temporal and anatomic relationship between SVT and DVT in hospitalized children, particularly those with central venous catheters.