Thromboembolic disease is a complex disorder with a multifactorial aetiology and a severe
outcome. In newborns and children it may be missed or diagnosed late, thus worsening the prognosis.
The neonatal disease is different from the disorder affecting older children and adults. However, scant
epidemiological data and few randomised clinical trials regarding paediatric patients are available, and
treatment recommendations are largely based on adult guidelines. Younger patients then have several
decades over which they will suffer from the complications of thrombosis and risk of a new thrombotic
episode. Current knowledge about neonatal thromboembolic disease and its prevention is reviewed here
along with maternal, foetal, neonatal, pharmacological, environmental, lifestyle and occupational contributing
factors. Additional data are urgently needed to improve diagnostic and therapeutic strategies
and patient outcomes.
Keywords: Thrombosis, thrombophilia, risk, disease management, treatment, thrombolysis, heparin, neonate.
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