Semin Thromb Hemost
DOI: 10.1055/s-0041-1729886
Review Article

Venous Thromboembolism in Pediatric Cancer Patients with Central Venous Catheter—A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Rasmus Søgaard Hansen
1  Department of Clinical Biochemistry and Pharmacology, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark
Mads Nybo
1  Department of Clinical Biochemistry and Pharmacology, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark
Anne-Mette Hvas
2  Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark
3  Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
› Author Affiliations
Funding None.


Pediatric cancer patients hold an increased risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) due to their cancer. Central venous catheters (CVCs) further increase the VTE risk. This systematic literature review elucidates the VTE incidence in pediatric cancer patients with CVC. MEDLINE and EMBASE were searched in August 2020 without time limits. We included studies reporting original data on patients ≤18 years with any CVC type and any cancer type, who were examined for VTE with ≥7 days follow-up. In total, 682 unique records were identified, whereof 189 studies were assessed in full text. Altogether, 25 studies were included, containing 2,318 pediatric cancer patients with CVC, of which 17% suffered VTE. Fifteen studies (n = 1,551) described CVC-related VTE and reported 11% CVC-related VTE. Concerning cancer type, 991 children suffered from acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and 616 from solid tumors. Meta-analysis revealed VTE incidence (95% confidence interval) of 21% (8–37) for ALL and 7% (0.1–17) for solid tumors. Additionally, 20% of children with tunneled or nontunneled CVC and 12% of children with implantable ports suffered VTE. In conclusion, pediatric cancer patients with CVC have substantial VTE risk. Children with ALL and CVC have higher VTE incidence than children with solid tumors and CVC. Implantable port catheter should be preferred over tunneled or nontunneled CVC to reduce VTE risk. Thrombophilia investigation does not seem relevant in pediatric cancer patients with CVC and VTE. To prevent VTE, intensified catheter care is recommended, especially in children with ALL.

Supplementary Material

Publication History

Publication Date:
02 September 2021 (online)

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