Prevention of thromboembolism after neurosurgery for brain and spinal tumors. (Original Article).
Objective: Deep venous thrombosis deep venous thrombosis
n. Abbr. DVT
A condition in which one or more thrombi form in a deep vein, especially in the leg or pelvis, resulting in an increased risk of pulmonary embolism. (DVT See deep vein thrombosis. ) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality Morbidity and Mortality can refer to:
The term used to describe a secondary cancer, or one that has spread from one area of the body to another.
Mentioned in: Coagulation Disorders
pertaining to or of the nature of a metastasis. brain tumors.
Methods: We conducted a confidential survey of American neurosurgeons interested in tumor surgery to assess DVT risk awareness and thromboprophylaxis patterns.
Results: Of the 172 respondents, 108 (63%) underestimated the DVT risk after brain tumor surgery. After operating on patients who had brain or spinal tumors, 81.4 and 78.5% of respondents, respectively, reported using DVT prophylaxis prophylaxis (prō'fĭlăk`sĭs), measures designed to prevent the occurrence of disease or its dissemination. Some examples of prophylaxis are immunization against serious diseases such as smallpox or diphtheria; quarantine to confine . After performing brain tumor surgery, 76.2% of respondents reported using solely mechanical methods of prophylaxis "always" or "most of the time."
Conclusion: American neurosurgeons tend to underestimate the risk of DVT associated with brain tumor surgery and to use mechanical thromboprophylaxis despite the availability of effective pharmacologic anti-thrombotics. A better appreciation of the risk of thrombosis, combined with clinical studies to address safety, may enhance the use of prophylaxis and the perceived safety of antithrombotics in this setting.
Venous thromboembolic thromboembolic
pertaining to or emanating from thromboembolism.
see thromboembolic colic. events, including deep vein thrombosis A blood clot (thrombos) in a vein deep within the muscle, typically in the thigh or calf. It is caused by disease or the lack of activity such as sitting for hours at a computer screen. (DVT) and pulmonary embolism Pulmonary Embolism Definition
Pulmonary embolism is an obstruction of a blood vessel in the lungs, usually due to a blood clot, which blocks a coronary artery. (PE), are common, preventable perioperative perioperative /peri·op·er·a·tive/ (-op´er-ah-tiv) pertaining to the period extending from the time of hospitalization for surgery to the time of discharge.
adj. complications that contribute to the morbidity and mortality of surgical patients. Neuro-oncology patients are at particular risk for venous thromboembolism thromboembolism /throm·bo·em·bo·lism/ (-em´bo-lizm) obstruction of a blood vessel with thrombotic material carried by the blood from the site of origin to plug another vessel.
n. (VT) due to the hypercoagulability associated with malignancy and invasive neurosurgical procedures, as well as risk factors such as prolonged anesthesia, paresis paresis /pa·re·sis/ (pah-re´sis) slight or incomplete paralysis.
general paresis paralytic dementia; a form of neurosyphilis in which chronic meningoencephalitis causes gradual loss of cortical , and extended immobility. Venous thrombosis has been documented in 22 to 45% of patients operated on for brain tumors (Table 1). (1-4) Proximal DVT, commonly associated with PE, has been reported in 14 to 35% of cases. (1-4) Isolated calf vein thromboses, not commonly associated with PE, propagate and convert into more dangerous proximal DVT in as many as 35 to 40% of cases. (1,5) The substantial risk of DVT, combined with a PE-related mortality rate of 33 to 58% after brain tumor surgery, supports the need for aggressive prophylaxis against VT. (6-8)
The goal of prophylaxis against VT is to reduce the incidence of DVT and, by doing so, decrease the morbidity associated with the postthrombotic syndrome and the morbidity and mortality associated with PE. Acceptable means of prophylaxis must be not only effective but also demonstrably safe. Both mechanical and pharmacologic methods of prophylaxis are available and are used to varying degrees to prevent perioperative VT. While most general and orthopedic surgeons have shifted away from relying solely on mechanical methods of prophylaxis, and now use pharmacologic agents to a greater degree, many neurosurgeons have not modified their thromboprophylaxis strategies, presumably pre·sum·a·ble
That can be presumed or taken for granted; reasonable as a supposition: presumable causes of the disaster. for safety reasons. Using a survey format, we sought to identify the current trends in perioperative VT prophylaxis used by practicing neurosurgeons and to investigate the relationship between VT risk awareness and the use of prophylaxis.
A confidential, voluntary 29-question survey (Appendix) was mailed to 590 U.S. neurosurgeons identified using the American Association American Association refers to one of the following professional baseball leagues:
AANS American Association for Netherlandic Studies ) Tumor Section database. The survey was designed to assess DVT risk awareness and determine the current VT prophylaxis strategies used after adult brain tumor surgery, spinal tumor surgery, and stereotactic biopsy Stereotactic biopsy
A biopsy taken by precisely locating areas of abnormal growth through the use of delicate instruments.
Mentioned in: Fibrocystic Condition of the Breast
stereotactic biopsy . Confidentiality was maintained by using AANS-assigned codes for each individual. Eight questions addressed physician demographics and training. Six of the questions designed to explore prophylaxis patterns and VT awareness required a written response. Seven used a modified Likert scale Likert scale A subjective scoring system that allows a person being surveyed to quantify likes and preferences on a 5-point scale, with 1 being the least important, relevant, interesting, most ho-hum, or other, and 5 being most excellent, yeehah important, etc (answer choices were "always," "most of the time," "sometimes," "rarely," or "never"). The remaining eight questions were multiple choice and required the respondent to circle an answer. Respondents were instructed to return the completed survey by faxing it to the Cleveland Clinic Cleveland Clinic (formally known as the Cleveland Clinic Foundation) is a multispecialty academic medical center located in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. Cleveland Clinic was established in 1921 by four physicians for the purpose of providing patient care, research, and medical Foundation Vascular Medicine research office. Approximately 2 to 3 weeks after the initial mailing, a second mailing was sent to individuals who had not responded. A database was created, and the results were analyzed with the use of GB-STAT software (Dynamic Microsystems, Inc., Silver Spring, MD).
A total of 190 surveys were returned, for a response rate of 32.2%. Eighteen responses were excluded from final analysis because of submission after a predetermined pre·de·ter·mine
v. pre·de·ter·mined, pre·de·ter·min·ing, pre·de·ter·mines
1. To determine, decide, or establish in advance: deadline (n = 4), blank survey (n = 1), physician practice other than neurosurgery neurosurgery /neu·ro·sur·gery/ (noor´o-sur?jer-e) surgery of the nervous system.
Surgery on any part of the nervous system. (n = 4), pediatric pediatric /pe·di·at·ric/ (pe?de-at´rik) pertaining to the health of children.
Of or relating to pediatrics. neurosurgery practice (n = 3), retired physician (n = 5), and resident in training (n = 1). The results of 172 evaluable surveys were included in the final analysis. Of these 172 respondents, 143 (83.1%) stated that they were neurosurgery board-certified, and 27 (15.7%) of 172 stated that they had completed neuro-oncology fellowship training.
Of the 172 respondents, 41 (23.8%) correctly identified the risk of DVT after brain tumor surgery as being [less than or equal to]20%, while 71(41.3%) identified the risk as [greater than or equal to]9% (Fig. 1). Regarding the use of thromboprophylaxis, 81.4% of respondents indicated that they prescribe some form of DVT prophylaxis after brain tumor surgery "always" or "most of the time," and 78.5% responded similarly when asked about prophylaxis after spinal tumor surgery. Many respondents (52.9%) indicated that they "rarely" or "never" use prophylaxis after performing stereotactic biopsy (Fig. 2). Figure 3 shows the use of prophylaxis after brain tumor surgery performed by surgeons who reported performing fewer than 35 craniotomies yearly, 36 to 75 craniotomies yearly, and more than 75 craniotomies yearly. Pneumatic antiembolism stockings, with or without the addition of thromboembolism deterrence stockings, were used as the sole form of prophylaxis after brain tumor surgery by 131 (76.2%) of the respondent s "always" or "most of the time" and "rarely" or "never" by 13 (7.6%) of the respondents (Fig. 4). In contrast, low molecular weight heparin In medicine, low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) is a class of medication used as an anticoagulant in diseases that feature thrombosis, as well as for prophylaxis in situations that lead to a high risk of thrombosis. was used "always" or "most of the time" by only 10 respondents (5.8%) and "rarely" or "never" by 125 respondents (72.7%) (Fig. 3).
Figure 5 depicts the relationship between the perceived risk of DVT after brain tumor surgery and the use of prophylaxis. Of the 140 respondents who stated that they use prophylaxis "always" or "most of the time," 84 (60%) underestimated the actual risk of perioperative DVT after brain tumor surgery. Of the 17 respondents who indicated that they "rarely" or "never" use prophylaxis in patients who have had brain tumor surgery, 15 (88%) underestimated the risk of perioperative DVT. Within this group, 7 of the 17 respondents identified the risk as less than 1%, while an additional 8 respondents identified the risk as 1 to 9%.
When asked to indicate in a written response their preferred form of prophylaxis after brain tumor surgery, spinal tumor surgery, and stereotactic biopsy, respondents described a total of 20 different mechanical, pharmacologic, or combined methods. Figure 6 shows the distribution of preferred prophylaxis methods. A few respondents identified "no prophylaxis" as their preferred method after brain tumor surgery (n = 3) and spinal tumor surgery (n = 5), whereas 37.8% (n = 65) stated that they prefer to use nothing after stereotactic biopsy. In those who identified mechanical means of prophylaxis as their preferred method, pneumatic stockings were used alone or in combination with other mechanical modalities by 98 (95.1%) of 103, 88 (95.7%) of 92, and 58 (87.9%) of 66 for brain tumor surgery, spinal tumor surgery, and stereotactic biopsy, respectively. Low molecular weight heparin was the most frequently prescribed drug for prophylaxis (36%), followed in frequency by subcutaneous unfractionated heparin (31.9%), a spirin (9.9%), and warfarin warfarin (wôr`fərĭn), anticoagulant used to treat blood clots. In large doses it causes bleeding. Warfarin, mixed with bait, is used in rodent control.
Anticoagulant drug, marketed as Coumadin. (1.2%). When asked whether a bleeding complication in a patient receiving a particular pharmacologic agent would influence their future use of the same drug, 139 (81.3%) of 172 respondents answered affirmatively. In addition, 70.8% answered that such a bleeding complication would influence their use of other anticoagulant anticoagulant (ăn'tēkōăg`yələnt), any of several substances that inhibit blood clot formation (see blood clotting). drugs as well.
The results from this survey reveal that despite recently published studies demonstrating the efficacy of pharmacologic prophylaxis against VT in postoperative neurosurgical patients, most U.S. neurosurgeons rely heavily on mechanical methods. Mechanical methods of prophylaxis may be preferred because of the perceived risk of bleeding with pharmacologic agents, a complication that is usually poorly tolerated by both surgeon and patient. The survey also reflects that many neurosurgeons underestimate the reported frequency of DVT after brain tumor surgery. This underestimation may contribute to the choice of prophylaxis.
The intensity of perioperative DVT prophylaxis recommended by the American College of Chest Physicians The American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) is a medical organization consisting of physicians and non-physician specialists in the field of chest medicine, which includes pulmonology, thoracic surgery, and critical care medicine. is based on the observed risk for VT in a particular setting or in a particular group of patients. Neurosurgical patients consistently fall into the highest risk category for perioperative VT. (9) The DVT incidence of 22 to 45% (Table 1) after brain tumor surgery (1-4) is comparable to the DVT incidence in orthopedic patients undergoing hip replacement surgery, a group much more readily recognized as being at high risk for VT and in need of aggressive prophylaxis. (9) A previous survey study of graduate surgical trainees showed that many general surgical residents underestimate the clinical risk of VT in postoperative patients. (10) This survey showed that the appropriate use of DVT prophylaxis was directly dependent on the correct estimate of risk. It is possible that the risk underestimation observed in our study affects the use of perioperative DVT prophylaxis in neuro-oncology, patients.
As suspected, our study group heavily favored mechanical methods of prophylaxis. Pneumatic stockings were the most frequently used mechanical means of prophylaxis, being used alone, in combination with other mechanical methods, or along with pharmacologic agents. Pneumatic stockings have been shown to decrease the absolute risk for postoperative DVT in neurosurgical patients by approximately 10 to 20%. (3,4,11,12) However, device malfunction and patient or nursing noncompliance noncompliance
failure of the owner to follow instructions, particularly in administering medication as prescribed; a cause of a less than expected response to treatment.
noncompliance may compromise their effectiveness. Although pneumatic stockings are safe, they may impede rehabilitation and walking.
Pharmacologic agents provide an ease of use and inpatient compliance benefit; however, their use is perceived to be complicated by an increased bleeding tendency. Recently, Agnelli et al (13) and others demonstrated the efficacy of subcutaneously administered heparin and the low molecular weight heparins dalteparin and enoxaparin for the prevention of VT in neurosurgical patients. (13-18) Agnelli et al (13) compared subcutaneous enoxaparin (40 mg/d beginning within 24 h of surgery) with control therapy consisting of compression stockings Compression stockings are used to support the venous and lymphatic systems of the leg. They offer graduated compression where maximum compression is achieved at the ankle and decreases as you move up the leg. alone. They showed a significant decrease in DVT rate from 32% in the control patients to 17% in the enoxaparin-treated patients (P = 0.004). One study that compared subcutaneous enoxaparin 30 mg begun preoperatively and continued every 12 hours until discharge with the use of compression stockings alone, and combined compression/enoxaparin was terminated early because of an excessive rate of bleeding. (17) The results showed no difference in bleeding between the three groups ; however, limited enrollment prevented detection of a meaningful difference in safety. No study has adequately compared the efficacy of pneumatic stockings with that of a pharmacologic agent. In addition, no study of any means of prophylaxis has been performed with sufficient statistical power to address the issue of safety. A recent meta-analysis of controlled, randomized ran·dom·ize
tr.v. ran·dom·ized, ran·dom·iz·ing, ran·dom·iz·es
To make random in arrangement, especially in order to control the variables in an experiment. trials investigating low molecular weight heparin and unfractionated heparin in VT prophylaxis showed a 71% increase in relative risk for major bleeding compared with controls. However, the overall bleeding event rate was low--12 of 511 in treated patients and 7 of 511 in controls--and the absolute increase in bleeding risk was only 0.9%. (19)
The goal of VT prophylaxis is to decrease the incidence of DVT and PB and thus decrease the associated morbidity and mortality. In addition, prevention of VT will limit the number of perioperative patients in whom therapeutic anticoagulation is required to treat a thrombotic complication. Although several small studies and series have shown the safety of therapeutic intensity anticoagulation in neurosurgical patients, many practitioners facing a patient with postoperative DVT still rely on inferior vena cava inferior vena cava
n. Abbr. IVC
A large vein formed by the union of the two common iliac veins that receives blood from the lower limbs and the pelvic and abdominal viscera and empties into the right atrium of the heart. (JVC JVC Victor Company of Japan (or Japan's Victor Company)
JVC Jewelers Vigilance Committee
JVC Jesuit Volunteer Corps
JVC Jet Vane Control (directs VLS-launched missiles)
JVC Jonker-Volgenant-Castanon ) filters for PB prevention. (20-23) These filters are not without complications. The risk of recurrent DVT associated with IVC IVC
inferior vena cava filters has been reported to be as high as 21%. (24,25) In addition, IVC filter placement does not eliminate the risk of recurrent PE. (24,25) Because no study reported to date has adequately evaluated the optimal treatment strategy for VT in neurosurgical patients, prevention should be the primary focus.
Whereas other survey formats have been used to evaluate the use of DVT prophylaxis in perioperative patients, this is the first survey of its kind of neurosurgeons who perform tumor surgery. Despite inherent flaws of the survey format of data collection, we think that this format allowed us to characterize the current practice patterns of selected neurosurgeons who perform tumor surgery. The results were similar to the practices within our own institution and were not unexpected. It is clear that for pharmacologic agents to gain use in DVT prevention in the neurosurgical population, additional studies must be performed. These studies should compare the currently used modalities of pneumatic stockings, with or without compression stockings, and pharmacologic agents. Most important, the studies should focus on the safety of the pharmacologic agents with respect to the risk of perioperative bleeding, particularly intracranial hemorrhage intracranial hemorrhage
The escape of blood within the cranium due to the loss of integrity of vascular channels and frequently leading to formation of a hematoma. .
Many neurosurgeons underestimate the perioperative risk of DVT in patients with brain tumors. Mechanical methods of DVT prophylaxis are preferred among neurosurgeons. Bleeding is a significant concern that may limit the use of pharmacologic agents. Future trials of pharmacologic prophylaxis should use proper control groups and focus on safety as the primary trial endpoint.
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Fig. 1 Respondents' perceived risk of deep venous thrombosis after brain tumor surgery in the absence of prophylaxis. Solid bars represent the most correct estimate of risk to the patient, 20 to 40%. Perceived risk of DVT following BTS <1% 9.9 1-9% 31.4 10-19% 21.5 20-29% 14.5 30-40% 9.3 No answer 13.4 Note: Table made from bar graph Fig. 6 Respondents' indication of their preferred method of prophylaxis after brain tumor surgery (BTS), spinal tumor surgery (STS), and stereotactic biopsy (SB). Preferred method of prophylaxis BTS STS SB Mechanical 59.9 53.4 38.4 Pharmacologic 16.9 17.4 6.4 Combined 17.4 19.8 2.3 None 1.7 2.9 37.8 Note: Table made from bar graph Table 1. Baseline incidence of deep venous thrombosis after brain tumor surgery (a) Series (ref. no.) Prophylaxis Valladares et al, 1980 (2) None noted Turpie et al, 1977 (3) IPC vs. no prophylaxis Skillman et al, 1978 (4) IPC vs. no prophylaxis Series (ref. no.) Diagnostic test Valladares et al, 1980 (2) Fibrinogen [I.sup.125] scanning Turpie et al, 1977 (3) Fibrinogen [I.sup.125] scanning Skillman et al, 1978 (4) Fibrinogen [I.sup.125] scanning (venogram confirmed) Series (ref. no.) Brain tumor surgery DVT (%) Valladares et al, 1980 (2) 31 10 (32) 16 malignant 4/16 (25) 15 benign 6/15 (45) Turpie et al, 1977 (3) 25 (IPC) 1/25 (4) 27 (control) 6/21 (22) Skillman et al, 1978 (4) 11 (IPC) 1/11 (9) 20 (control) 7/20 (35) (a) IPC, intermittent pneumatic compression DVT, deep vein thrombosis.
Accepted April 23, 2002.
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1. causing hemostasis, or an agent that so acts.
2. due to or characterized by stasis of the blood.
adj. , and biochemical correlations. J Neurosurg 1989;70:314A (abstr 23).
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The hip, thigh, leg, ankle, or foot. Also called inferior limb, pelvic limb. deep vein thrombosis in neurosurgical patients. Neurosurgery 1980;6:138-141.
(3.) Turpie AG, Gallus Gallus (Caius Vibius Trebonianus Gallus) (găl`əs), d. 253 or 254, Roman emperor after 251. He fought in the eastern campaign that proved fatal to Decius. A, Beattie WS, Hirsch J. Prevention of venous thrombosis in patients with intracranial intracranial /in·tra·cra·ni·al/ (-kra´ne-al) within the cranium.
Within the cranium. disease by intermittent pneumatic compression of the calf, Neurology 1977;27:435-438.
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n. pl. throm·bol·y·ses
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The gastrosoleus complex is connected to the foot through the Achilles tendon, and contract to induce plantar flexion and stabilization of the stimulation plus dextran dextran /dex·tran/ (dek´stran) a high-molecular-weight polymer of d-glucose, produced by enzymes on the cell surface of certain lactic acid bacteria. compared to low-dose heparin. Acta Neurochir (Wien) 1986;80:83-89.
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Surgical removal of part of the skull to expose the brain.
A craniotomy is the most commonly performed surgery for brain tumor removal. . Presented at the Congress of Neurological Surgeons 50th Annual Meeting, September 2000, San Antonio San Antonio (săn ăntō`nēō, əntōn`), city (1990 pop. 935,933), seat of Bexar co., S central Tex., at the source of the San Antonio River; inc. 1837. , TX.
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Plural of embolus. An embolus is something that blocks the blood flow in a blood vessel. in patients with primary and metastatic brain tumors: Anticoagulants Anticoagulants
Drugs that suppress, delay, or prevent blood clots. Anticoagulants are used to treat embolisms.
Mentioned in: Embolism, Heart Valve Replacement or inferior vena cava filter An inferior vena cava filter, also IVC filter a type of vascular filter, is a medical device that is implanted into the inferior vena cava to prevent pulmonary emboli (PEs). ? Arch Intern Med 1987; 147:2177-2179.
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v. ca´va infe´rior inferior vena cava: the venous trunk for the lower extremities and the pelvic and abdominal viscera; it begins at the caval filters in the prevention of pulmonary embolism in patients with proximal deep-vein thrombosis: Prevention du Risque ris·qué
Suggestive of or bordering on indelicacy or impropriety.
[French, from past participle of risquer, to risk, from risque, risk; see risk.]
Adj. d'Embolie Pulmonaire par Interruption Cave Study Group. N Engl J Med 1998;338:409-415.
RELATED ARTICLE: Key Points
* Many of the surveyed neurosurgeons underestimated the incidence of perioperative deep venous thrombosis after brain tumor surgery.
* Most of the surveyed neurosurgeons use thromboprophylaxis after brain tumor and spinal tumor surgery but not typically after stereotactic biopsy.
* Many of the respondents prefer mechanical methods of prophylaxis after brain or spinal tumor surgery.
* Most of the identified forms of mechanical prophylaxis included pneumatic antiembolism stockings as one component of therapy.
From the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Section of Vascular Medicine; the Department of Neurosurgery, Brain Tumor Center; and the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH. (Dr. Kanner is now with the Department of Neurosurgery, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Sackler Faculty of Medicine Sackler Faculty of Medicine is a medical school which is part of Tel Aviv University in Tel Aviv, Israel.
It was named after Arthur M. Sackler, a U.S. doctor who made substantial donations to the school. , Tel Aviv University Tel Aviv University (TAU, אוניברסיטת תל־אביב, את"א) is Israel's largest on-site university. , Tel Aviv, Israel.)
Reprint requests to Steven R. Deitcher, MD, Director, Section of Vascular Medicine, Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 9500 Euclid Avenue/Desk S-60, Cleveland, OH 44195. Email: email@example.com
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