Non-Catheter-related Venous Thromboembolism in Children: Imaging Review from Head to Toe

TitleNon-Catheter-related Venous Thromboembolism in Children: Imaging Review from Head to Toe
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsCox, M., Epelman M., Chandra T., Meyers A. B., Johnson C. M., & Podberesky D. J.
JournalRadiographics : a review publication of the Radiological Society of North America, Inc
Date Published2017 Oct
KeywordsChild; Diagnosis, Differential; Humans; Risk Factors; Venous Thromboembolism

Non-catheter-related venous thromboembolism (VTE) is less common in children than in adults. Although the presence of a central venous catheter is the most common cause of venous thrombosis in children, infection and inflammation, malignancy, hypercoagulability, dehydration, and certain sites of normal variant and pathologic anatomic narrowing all predispose to VTE in children. The mortality and morbidity of VTE vary according to the underlying cause, including whether malignancy is present. Various modalities including ultrasonography (US), computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging can be used to image VTE, with some modalities better suited to particular parts of the body and clinical scenarios than others. When feasible, US is the initial test of choice for the diagnosis of VTE. US findings of acute VTE include a dilated noncompressible vein, intraluminal echoes, lack of color flow, and abnormal spectral venous waveforms. Serial US examinations are useful for monitoring patient response to therapy; a normal compressible vein will be seen after complete resolution of thrombus, and chronic venous changes including wall thickening, intraluminal webs, and phleboliths, which are readily apparent at US. Accurate and timely diagnosis of VTE must take into account the various advantages and disadvantages of each modality including speed, accuracy, availability, exposure to ionizing radiation, and need for sedation, as well as the clinical stability and transportability of the child. This article reviews some of the more common causes of VTE in children (other than those related to a central venous catheter) according to body part and discusses the associated imaging findings.RSNA, 2017.

Alternate JournalRadiographics
Refereed DesignationRefereed