A practical approach to the use of low molecular weight heparins in VTE treatment and prophylaxis in children and newborns

Angelo Claudio Molinari, Laura Banov, Marta Bertamino, Paola Barabino, Giuseppe Lassandro, Paola Giordano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Low-molecular weight heparins are currently the most commonly used anticoagulants in children and newborns. However, since thrombotic complications rarely occur outside large children's hospitals, physicians often encounter some practical problems in managing these treatments when a pediatric thrombosis specialist is not available. The drug of choice is enoxaparin, due to its favorable FXa/FIIa ratio and the availability of pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic data. The treatment of acute thrombosis should be started with two daily injections but when compliance is an issue, a single daily administration schedule could be chosen for secondary prophylaxis ensuring careful measurement of the post 24-hour anti-FXa activity. Furthermore, a subcutaneous device may be a useful tool and a topical dermal anesthetic could be effective in controlling pain without affecting anti-FXa levels. In neonate and toddlers, where mini doses are frequently needed, the dead space of syringes and needles could represent an issue and therefore the use of insulin syringes without dead space is advisable, while a dilution of the drug is useful with other syringes. This article derives froma nonsystematic review of the available literature, with special attention to recent international guidelines and expert recommendations, combined to authors' clinical practice in large tertiary pediatric hospitals and will provide concise and practical information for the use of low-molecular weight heparin in childhood and infancy in a sort of "answering frequently asked questions."

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalPediatric Hematology and Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2015


  • Child
  • Enoxaparin
  • Low-molecular weight heparin
  • Neonate
  • Prophylaxis
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Medicine(all)


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