Acquired coagulation factor inhibitors in children after topical bovine thrombin exposure

William J. Savage, Thomas S. Kickler, Clifford M. Takemoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Acquired inhibitors of coagulation factors, particularly to factor V (FV) and thrombin, after topical bovine thrombin exposure may result in clinically important coagulopathies. While bovine thrombin is commonly used in pediatric patients for surgical hemostasis, the reported cases of acquired inhibitors in children are few. We report two cases of children who developed factor inhibitors after bovine thrombin exposure. One child developed a FV inhibitor at 3 months of age after exposure to bovine thrombin during cardiac surgery. The inhibitor resolved with intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) and steroids. The other child developed concomitant FV and bovine thrombin inhibitors after cardiac surgery at age 11 years. The presence of these inhibitors complicated post-operative anticoagulation management, but the inhibitors were transient. In addition to these two cases, we identified all the pediatric patients with bovine thrombin-induced inhibitors who were reported in the world's literature, and reviewed their clinical characteristics. These cases underscore the fact that bovine thrombin can be antigenic in infants and children and can result in significant coagulopathies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1025-1029
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Blood and Cancer
Issue number7
StatePublished - Dec 2007


  • Bleeding disorders
  • Hemostasis
  • Pediatric hematology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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