Previous studies have identified risk factors for femoral arterial thrombosis after paediatric cardiac catheterisation, but none of them have evaluated the clinical and economic significance of this complication at the population level. Therefore, we examined the national prevalence and economic impact of femoral arterial thrombosis after cardiac catheterisation in children.
Patients⩽18 years of age who underwent cardiac catheterisation were identified in the 2003–2009 Kids’ Inpatient Database. Patients were stratified by age as follows: <1 year of age or 1–18 years of age. The primary outcome was arterial thrombosis of the lower extremity during the same hospitalisation as cardiac catheterisation. Propensity score matching was used to determine the impact of femoral arterial thrombosis on hospital length of stay, cost, and mortality.
Among the 11,497 paediatric cardiac catheterisations identified, 4558 catheterisations (39.6%) were performed in children <1 year of age. This age group experienced a higher prevalence of reported femoral arterial thrombosis, compared with children aged 1–18 years (1.3 versus 0.3%, p<0.001). After matching, femoral arterial thrombosis in children <1 year of age was associated with similar mortality (5.4 versus 1.8%, p=0.28), length of stay (8 versus 5 days, p=0.11), and total hospital cost ($27,135 versus $28,311, p=0.61), compared with absence of thrombosis.
Femoral arterial thrombosis is especially prevalent in children <1 year of age undergoing cardiac catheterisation. Clinicians should be vigilant in monitoring femoral arterial patency in neonates and infants after cardiac catheterisation.