Skip to Main Content




Thromboembolic events are rare in childhood; however, neonates are disproportionately affected by thrombosis. The propensity for neonates to clot may be due to several contributing factors. First, neonates have an immature hemostatic system, which generally gives them physiologic thrombophilia. In addition, they are at high risk for sepsis, which leads to thrombosis due to inflammation or disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (DIC). The high use of central catheters, both arterial and venous, in neonates also increases their risk of thrombosis. Although often considered in neonatal thrombosis, the contributing role of inherited thrombophilias in both arterial and venous thrombotic events in this age group remains poorly defined.


Clinicians caring for neonates should be especially aware of clinical thrombotic events common in the neonate, including portal vein thrombosis, renal vein thrombosis, purpura fulminans, and neonatal stroke. The portal vein is a commonly affected anatomic vein, which is attributed to the use of central catheters. Renal vein thromboses have long been recognized as occurring spontaneously in neonates. Neonatal purpura fulminans is a rare condition of dermal microvascular thrombosis associated with DIC and perivascular hemorrhage. This is often associated with inherited thrombophilias, specifically protein C deficiency. Neonatal central nervous system thrombotic events, including cerebral sinovenous thrombosis and neonatal ischemic stroke, are important thrombotic events. These are discussed in detail in another chapter. In addition to familiarity with these sites of thromboses, it is crucial for clinicians to be aware of the different treatments that may be considered for the best long-term outcomes.




The majority of neonatal thrombi occur in the venous system, and most are associated with the placement of central venous catheters. Many of these cases are asymptomatic, though catheter-associated thrombi may present with catheter dysfunction. Symptomatic thrombi often present with swelling of the limbs and lower body in the case of inferior vena cava thrombosis versus swelling of the arm, head, and neck seen in superior vena cava thrombosis (otherwise known as SVC syndrome). Due to the frequent use of umbilical venous lines, neonates also may develop portal vein thrombosis, which can lead to hepatic lobar atrophy or portal hypertension. Intracardiac thrombosis may also develop. These thrombi are usually located in the right atrium and are often associated with central venous lines. The most frequent location for spontaneous venous thrombi in neonates is in the renal veins. Infants with renal vein thrombosis may present with macroscopic or microscopic hematuria, thrombocytopenia, or a palpable flank mass.




Neonatal arterial thrombi outside the central nervous system are almost exclusively due to iatrogenic causes. Rarely, a spontaneous thrombus may develop in the aorta. Femoral artery catheters used for cardiac catheterization and umbilical artery or peripheral arterial catheters used for blood pressure and blood gas monitoring are the main risk factors for arterial thrombi. These cases may be asymptomatic or present with signs of ischemia or organ dysfunction. Involved extremities ...

Want remote access to your institution's subscription?

Sign in to your MyAccess profile while you are actively authenticated on this site via your institution (you will be able to verify this by looking at the top right corner of the screen - if you see your institution's name, you are authenticated). Once logged in to your MyAccess profile, you will be able to access your institution's subscription for 90 days from any location. You must be logged in while authenticated at least once every 90 days to maintain this remote access.


Create a Free MyAccess Profile

* Required Fields

Note: If you have registered for a MyAccess profile on any of the Access sites, you can use the same MyAccess login credentials across all sites.

Passwords must be between 6 and 40 characters long (no whitespace), cannot contain characters #, &, and must contain:
  • at least one lowercase letter
  • at least one uppercase letter
  • at least one digit

Benefits of a MyAccess Profile:

  • Remote access to the site off-campus on any device
  • Notification of new content via custom alerts
  • Bookmark your favorite content such as chapters, figures, tables, videos, cases and more
  • Save and download images to PowerPoint
  • Self-Assessment quizzes saved for quick review
  • Custom Curriculum access for both instructors and learners

Subscription Options

AccessPediatrics Full Site: One-Year Subscription

Connect to the full suite of AccessPediatrics content and resources including 20+ textbooks such as Rudolph’s Pediatrics and The Pediatric Practice series, high-quality procedural videos, images, and animations, interactive board review, an integrated pediatric drug database, and more.

$595 USD
Buy Now

Pay Per View: Timed Access to all of AccessPediatrics

24 Hour Subscription $34.95

Buy Now

48 Hour Subscription $54.95

Buy Now

Pop-up div Successfully Displayed

This div only appears when the trigger link is hovered over. Otherwise it is hidden from view.