Introduction: Renal vein thrombosis, although rare in adults, is well recognized in neonates and is one of the most common manifestations of neonatal thromboembolic events. The etiology of renal vein thrombosis remains unidentified in the majority of cases. We report a case of renal vein thrombosis in a neonate associated with elevated maternal lipoprotein (a). Case presentation: A full-term female infant, appropriate for gestational age, was born via spontaneous vaginal delivery to an 18-year-old primigravida. The infant's birth weight was 3680 g and the Apgar scores were eight and nine at 1 and 5 minutes respectively. Evaluation of the infant in the newborn nursery revealed a palpable mass in the right lumbar area. Tests revealed hematuria and a high serum creatinine level of 1.5 mg/dl. An abdominal ultrasound Doppler flow study demonstrated an enlarged right kidney, right renal vein thrombosis, and progression of the thrombosis to the inferior vena cava. There was no evidence of saggital sinus thrombosis. An extensive work-up of parents for hypercoagulable conditions was remarkable for a higher plasma lipoprotein (a) level of 73 mg/dl and an elevated fibrinogen level of 512 mg/dl in the mother. All paternal levels were normal. The plasma lipoprotein (a) level in the neonate was also normal. The neonate was treated with low molecular weight heparin (enoxaparin) at 1.5 mg/kg/ day every 12 hours for 2 months, at which time a follow-up ultrasound Doppler flow study showed resolution of the thrombosis in both the renal vein and the inferior vena cava. Conclusion: There have been no studies to date that have explored the effect of abnormal maternal risk factors on fetal hemostasis. A case-control study is required to investigate whether elevated levels of maternal lipoprotein (a) may be a risk factor for neonatal thrombotic processes. Although infants with this presentation are typically treated with anticoagulation, there is a lack of evidence-based guidelines. Treatment modalities vary between study and treatment centers which warrants the establishment of a national registry.
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