OBJECTIVES: To investigate the long-term outcome of catheter-related arterial thrombosis in children.
STUDY DESIGN: Data from clinical and radiologic long-term follow-up of infants with congenital heart disease developing arterial thrombosis following femoral catheterization are presented.
RESULTS: Ninety-five infants with radiologically proven arterial thrombosis because of cardiac catheter (n = 52; 55%) or indwelling arterial catheter (n = 43; 45%) were followed for a median time of 23.5 months (IQR 13.3-47.3). Overall, radiologic complete thrombus resolution was observed in 64 (67%), partial resolution in 8 (9%), and no resolution in 23 (24%) infants. Complete resolution was significantly more frequent in infants with indwelling arterial catheter-related thrombosis compared with cardiac catheter-related thrombosis (P = .001). Patients with complete resolution had a significantly lower blood pressure difference and increased ankle-ankle index compared with patients with partial or no resolution (P < .0001). However, symptoms of claudication were present only in 1 case and clinical significant legs growth retardation (≥15 mm) was present in 1%.
CONCLUSIONS: A significant percentage of persistent occlusion is present in children with arterial catheter-related thrombosis on long-term follow-up. In these children, the magnitude of leg growth retardation is small and possibly not clinically relevant. However, in children with congenital heart disease, the high prevalence of persistent arterial occlusion may hamper future diagnostic and/or interventional catheterization.