Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a frequent occurrence during treatment for adults with sarcoma. The incidence and underlying risk factors of postsurgical VTE in children and adolescents undergoing resection of sarcoma are unknown.
Using International Classification of Disease revision-9 diagnostic and procedure codes, the Pediatric Health Information System database was queried for patients aged 18 years and younger, discharged from 2004 to 2015 with a diagnosis of lower extremity malignant neoplasm who had a tumor resection or amputation performed during the encounter. Malignant neoplasms of the pelvic bones and soft tissues were categorized as “pelvis tumors”, whereas malignant neoplasms of bone and soft tissues of the lower limbs were categorized as “lower limb tumors”. Hospitalizations were evaluated for the occurrence of VTE. Demographic characteristics (age at admission, sex, race, and race/ethnicity) and incidence of VTE were reported.
There were 2400 patients identified. Of these, 19 experienced VTE (0.79%) during their surgical hospitalization encounter. By anatomic group, the rate of VTE was 1.4% (CI: 0.5%-3.2%) for tumors in the pelvis and 0.6% (CI: 0.3%-1.0%) in lower limb tumors. Categorizing by age, the incidence of VTE was 1.2% in patients aged zero to 5, 0.3% in patients 6 to 13, and 1.2% in patients 14 to 18 years old. (Table 1). The extremely low rate of VTE occurrence precluded further analysis of risk factors.
In this analysis, postsurgical VTE during hospitalization after pelvic and lower extremity sarcoma resection was an uncommon event in children and adolescents. There seemed to be an increased incidence of postsurgical VTE in pelvic tumors when compared with lower limb tumors, however, the rarity of all events precluded formal statistical analysis. A more robust data set would be required to determine if there are subsets of children and adolescents with sarcoma at higher risk of VTE that could benefit from thromboprophylaxis in the postoperative setting.
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