Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed 85:F66-F69 doi:10.1136/fn.85.1.F66
  • Case report

Early intracardiac thrombosis in preterm infants and thrombolysis with recombinant tissue type plasminogen activator

  1. F Ferraria,
  2. F Vagnarellia,
  3. G Garganoa,
  4. M F Roversia,
  5. O Biagionia,
  6. A Ranzib,
  7. G B Cavazzutia
  1. aDepartment of Paediatrics, Division of Neonatology, Modena University, Italy, bDepartment of Embryology, Histology and Genetics
  1. Prof Ferrari, Department of Paediatrics, Division of Neonatology, University Hospital, Via del Pozzo, 41100 Modena, ItalyFerrarif{at}
  • Accepted 11 September 2000


OBJECTIVES To determine the incidence of catheter related thrombosis and to test the efficacy of recombinant tissue type plasminogen activator (rt-PA) in preterm infants.

STUDY DESIGN From January 1995 to December 1998, echocardiography was performed in the first few days of life in 76 very low birthweight (⩽ 1500 g) infants out of a total of 147 having an umbilical catheter placed. When intracardiac thrombosis was diagnosed, rt-PA infusion was performed.

RESULTS Four infants (5%) developed an intracardiac thrombosis during the first few days of life. In three of them, rt-PA at a dose of 0.4–0.5 mg/kg in a 20–30 minute bolus led to dissolution of the clot. One patient received a three hour infusion after the bolus, at a dose of 0.1 mg/kg/h, with resolution of the thrombus. No systemic effects were observed after rt-PA infusion.

CONCLUSIONS Early thrombosis may occur as a complication of umbilical catheterisation in preterm infants; early echocardiographic detection of this disorder allows complete, safe, and rapid lysis with rt-PA.


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