• Thrombosis and Anticoagulation Program

    Located in Boston, Massachusetts, the Thrombosis and Anticoagulation Program at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center provides comprehensive care and treatment for children with all forms of blood clots and clotting disorders, most notably thrombosis. With an emphasis on prevention, we treat children with deep vein thrombosis (DVT, blood clots in the limbs), pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lung), sinus venous thrombosis (blood clot in the brain), and arterial thrombosis.

    Our program, which is run by one of the foremost experts in the field of platelets and platelet disorders, has established monitoring and risk identification guidelines that are used throughout the hospital for patients who require anticoagulation (“blood-thinning”) medications.

    How We Diagnose and Treat Thrombosis

    Thrombosis is sometimes found accidentally but mostly because patients develop signs and symptoms of a blood clot. Our doctors perform a physical exam to evaluate symptoms such as swelling, pain at the location of the suspected clot, and redness and warmth. The diagnosis is confirmed through diagnostic imaging studies, including ultrasound, MRI, and CT scans. Thrombophilia, a group of disorders that increase a child’s tendency to develop excessive and dangerous blood clots, is diagnosed through a blood sample. A blood test will evaluate if a child is clotting normally and will identify abnormalities in the levels of certain proteins in the blood. Genetic tests are used to check for hereditary disorders.

    Treatment is based on several factors, but most children with thrombosis are treated with anti-coagulation therapy (“blood-thinners”). Our anticoagulation service provides ongoing monitoring and medical management of children on anticoagulation medications. These medications include oral agents such as Coumadin (warfarin), intravenous heparin, subcutaneous injections of a low molecular weight heparin such as enoxaparin (Lovenox) or dalteparin (Fragmin), or antiplatelet agents such as aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), or prasugrel (Effient).

    Our Treatment Team

    Dana-Farber/Boston Children's patients have access to the broadest set of blood disorder and pediatric subspecialty expertise available. The breadth of our expertise allows us to assemble a team of specialists to meet the specific needs of the patient.

    Our multidisciplinary team is led by one of our internationally renowned pediatric hematologists and includes specialists who are experts in blood clotting, genetics, and the assessment and treatment of thrombosis. In addition, our team includes pediatric nurse practitioners with thrombosis expertise and a designated anticoagulation nurse practitioner.

    Research and Clinical Trials

    Physicians and scientists in our program participate in active clinical and laboratory research on thrombosis and anticoagulation. We are home to the Center for Platelet Research, an internationally recognized research group focused on the study of platelet function. This integrated research group performs basic bench, translational, and clinical research on platelets and related aspects of thrombosis. A particular focus of research is antiplatelet therapy, including novel molecules and mechanisms of therapeutic platelet inhibition, the effects of antiplatelet agents on coagulation and inflammation, the relationship between the degree of inhibition of platelet function and clinical outcomes, and the use of platelet function tests to guide antiplatelet therapy in order to obtain better clinical outcomes. Through this research, our physicians work to improve therapeutic approaches and outcomes for all forms of clotting disorders. Search for current thrombosis and anticoagulation clinical trials.
  • Clinical Trials

    Through clinical trials and research, our Blood Disorders Center is continuously advancing the treatment of blood disorders in children.callout bg
  • Top Ranked for Cancer Care

    U.S. News Best Children's Hospitals logoWorld class cancer care at the #1 children's hospital