Repeated exposure to unfractionated heparin is the rule in many congenital heart disease patients. Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia occurs in 1% to 3% of adult cardiac surgeries, and carries high thrombotic morbidity (38% to 81%) and mortality (approximately 28%). Although heparin-induced thrombocytopenia appears to be infrequent in pediatric patients, particularly neonates, our evolving experience suggests postcardiopulmonary bypass congenital heart disease patients may be at increased risk. Diagnostic and therapeutic challenges include frequency of thrombocytopenia after cardiopulmonary bypass, imperfect laboratory testing, lack of established dosing of alternative anticoagulants (such as argatroban and lepirudin), and increased anticoagulant-related bleeding in young children.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine