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Deep Vein Thrombosis: Rare Cases of Diagnoses in a Pediatric Emergency Department

Rodríguez-Fanjul, Javier MD*; Trenchs, Victoria PhD*; Muñoz-Santanach, David MD*; F. de Sevilla, Maria MD*; Toll, Teresa MD; Blanch, Jose MD; Luaces, Carles PhD*

doi: 10.1097/PEC.0b013e3182187421
Illustrative Cases

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) has an estimated annual incidence of 0.07/10,000 children. Early diagnosis suspicion in the emergency department is important because it is a serious disease that, if untreated, can lead to a postthrombotic disease or a pulmonary thromboembolism. We report 2 cases of DVT whose diagnosis was made in the pediatric emergency department. Case 1 is a 9-year-old boy, evaluated with corticodependent nephrotic syndrome, who presented with pain in the lower left limb and increase in size of 48 hours' evolution suggestive of DVT. The elevation of D-dimer in the blood analysis and images from the Doppler ultrasound confirmed the diagnosis. His clinical evolution was good after beginning treatment with low molecular weight heparin. Case 2 is a 16-year-old adolescent, mother of a 1-year-old infant, who took oral contraceptives and was an occasional smoker, showed increased size and had pain in the lower left limb of a few hours' evolution. Deep vein thrombosis was suspected, and the diagnosis was confirmed by Doppler ultrasound. The evolution was favorable after beginning treatment with low molecular weight heparin.

Although DVT is rare in children, early detection is important, requiring a detailed case history in the presence of edematous, painful, and hot limbs that are keys to the diagnostic suspicion. The imaging test and the laboratory tests will confirm the diagnosis, and anticoagulant treatment will prevent complications.

From the *Emergency Section, Pediatrics Service, †Hematology Service, and ‡Radiology Service, Hospital Universitari Sant Joan de Déu, Barcelona, Spain.

Reprints: Carles Luaces, PhD, C/Passeig Sant Joan de Déu 2, 08950 Esplugues de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain (e-mail:

This manuscript was written without any source of support.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.