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Oral anticoagulation in paediatric patients: dose requirements and complications.
  1. R C Tait,
  2. E J Ladusans,
  3. M El-Metaal,
  4. R G Patel,
  5. A M Will
  1. Department of Haematology, Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, Pendlebury.

    Abstract

    The lack of oral anticoagulant guidelines specific to paediatric practice has led to the adoption of adult regimens, often without scientific evidence of efficacy or safety. A two year prospective study of anticoagulant control was carried out in 45 children aged 9 months to 18 years, the majority of whom were receiving primary prophylactic anticoagulation. The main indication was congenital heart disease, either with (n = 8) or without (n = 34) mechanical valve prosthesis. During a follow up period of 602 patient months the average interval between visits was three weeks. Target international normalised ratios (INRs) were achieved on 62% and 39% of visits for children with low target INR (2.0-3.0) and high target INR (3.0-4.0) respectively. However warfarin dose was altered on only 22% of visits. Warfarin doses required to achieve a stable INR of 2.0-3.0 in 33 children were strongly correlated with weight [dose (mg/d) = 0.07 x weight (kg) + 0.54] but independently influenced by age. No thrombotic complications were recorded, and haemorrhagic events were infrequent (2.1% of visits) and, with one exception, minor. Safe outpatient oral anticoagulation is feasible in children, whose warfarin requirements appear moderately predictable and whose control is no more erratic than that of adults.

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