Anticoagulant treatment for pediatric splanchnic vein thrombosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Omri Cohen, Orly Efros, Nicoletta Riva, Walter Ageno, Shelly Soffer, Eyal Klang, Assaf A. Barg, Gili Kenet, Sarina Levy-Mendelovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The clinical characteristics of splanchnic vein thrombosis (SVT) in pediatric patients and its optimal treatment strategies are unknown. Objectives: This study aimed to assess the effectiveness and safety of anticoagulant therapy for pediatric SVT. Methods: MEDLINE and EMBASE databases were searched up to December 2021. We included observational and interventional studies that enrolled pediatric patients with SVT and reported anticoagulant treatment and outcomes, including rates of vessel recanalization, SVT extension, venous thromboembolism (VTE) recurrence, major bleeding, and mortality. Pooled proportions of vessel recanalization were calculated with their 95% CI. Results: A total of 506 pediatric patients (aged 0-18 years) across 17 observational studies were included. The majority of patients had portal vein thrombosis (n = 308, 60.8%) or Budd-Chiari syndrome (n = 175, 34.6%). Most events were triggered by transient provoking factors. Anticoagulation (heparins and vitamin K antagonists) was prescribed in 217 (42.9%) patients, and 148 (29.2%) patients underwent vascular interventions. The overall pooled proportions of vessel recanalization were 55.3% (95% CI, 34.1%-74.7%; I2 = 74.0%) among anticoagulated patients and 29.4% (95% CI, 2.6%-86.6%; I2 = 49.0%) among non-anticoagulated patients. SVT extension, major bleeding, VTE recurrence, and mortality rates were 8.9%, 3.8%, 3.5%, and 10.0%, respectively, in anticoagulated patients and 2.8%, 1.4%, 0%, and 50.3%, respectively, in non-anticoagulated patients. Conclusion: In pediatric SVT, anticoagulation appears to be associated with moderate recanalization rates and a low risk of major bleeding. VTE recurrence is low and comparable to that reported in pediatric patients with other types of provoked VTE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2499-2508
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • anticoagulants
  • hepatic vein
  • portal vein
  • splenic vein
  • venous thrombosis


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