Background: Although routine coagulation tests, such as prothrombin time (PT) and activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) are performed before surgery to identify the risk of perioperative bleeding, bleeding complications are rare in minor surgeries, and false-positive results are often observed. Therefore, this study aimed to analyze the common causes of abnormal results of preoperative coagulation tests in previously healthy children undergoing elective minor surgery and determine the usefulness of performing these tests. Additionally, it aimed to identify the distribution of factor XII activity in children with prolonged aPTT.
Methods: The medical records of 363 pediatric patients aged 0 - 18 years, who were referred to the pediatric hematology-oncology department due to abnormal preoperative coagulation tests prior to undergoing minor surgery at the Kyung Hee University Medical Center between March 2008 and October 2020, were retrospectively review-ed.
Results: The majority of patients (n = 348, 96%) had prolonged aPTT, few (n = 29, 8%) had a prolonged PT international normalized ratio, and a small number (n = 14, 4%) had both prolonged PT and aPTT. On repeating the coagulation tests, 194 children showed persistent abnormal results. Of these, 184 patients underwent mixing tests, and 176 showed correction for factor deficiency (n = 26) and lupus anticoagulant positive (n = 14). Factor deficiencies included factor XII (n = 16), possibility of von Willebrand disease (vWD; n = 4), factor XI (n = 2), factor VIII (n = 1), factors IX and XII (n = 1), factor VII (n = 1), and factor V (n = 1). The severity of factor deficiency was mild (25 - 38%). One patient with factor VII deficiency received preoperative clotting factors but had postoperative bleeding requiring clotting factor replacement. Another patient with possible vWD received fresh frozen plasma after surgery and had mild symptoms. Linear regression showed no significant correlation between factor XII activity and aPTT in patients with prolonged aPTT (R2 = 0.0002, p = 0.84) or factor XII activity according to aPTT results in those with factor XII deficiency (R2 = 0.04749, p = 0.40).
Conclusions: These results suggest that coagulation tests may be selectively performed in previously healthy children undergoing minor surgery with positive bleeding and/or family history. The distribution of factor XII should be investigated further.