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Thomas J. Semrad, Robert O'Donnell, Ted Wun, Helen Chew, Danielle Harvey, Hong Zhou, and Richard H. White

Object

The authors sought to define the incidence of symptomatic venous thromboembolism (VTE) in patients harboring malignant gliomas.

Methods

The authors conducted a retrospective analysis of data obtained in all cases of malignant glioma diagnosed in California during a 6-year period; the occurrence of a VTE was identified using linked hospital discharge data. The Cox proportional hazard model was used to analyze the association of specific risk factors with the development of a VTE or death within 2 years of the cancer diagnosis.

Among 9489 cases, the 2-year cumulative incidence of VTE was 7.5% (715 cases), with a rate of 16.1 events per 100 person-years during the first 6 months. Three hundred ninety-one (55%) of these 715 cases were diagnosed within 61 days of major neurosurgery. Risk factors for VTE included older age (hazard ratio [HR] 2.6, confidence interval [CI] 2.0–3.4 for age range 65–74 years compared with ≤ 45 years), glioblastoma multiforme histology (HR 1.7, CI 1.4–2.1), three or more chronic comorbidities (HR 3.5, CI 2.8–4.3 [compared with no comorbidity]), and neurosurgery within 61 days (HR 1.7, CI 1.3–2.3). Patients in whom a VTE was present were at higher risk of dying within 2 years (HR 1.3, CI 1.2–1.4). In a nested case–control analysis of all VTE cases, there was no association between insertion of a vena cava filter and the risk of a recurrent VTE.

Conclusions

In patients harboring a glioma there was a very high incidence of symptomatic VTEs, particularly within 2 months of neurosurgery. The development of a VTE was associated with a 30% increase in the risk of death within 2 years. Further studies are needed to determine if risk stratification and the use of medical prophylaxis after neurosurgery improves outcomes.

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Cory McFall, Alexandra D. Beier, Kelsey Hayward, Emily C. Alberto, Randall S. Burd, Bethany J. Farr, David P. Mooney, Kristin Gee, Jeffrey S. Upperman, Mauricio A. Escobar Jr., Nicole G. Coufal, Helen A. Harvey, and Gerald Gollin

OBJECTIVE

The authors sought to evaluate the contemporary management of pediatric open skull fractures and assess the impact of variations in antibiotic and operative management on the incidence of infectious complications.

METHODS

The records of children who presented from 2009 to 2017 to 6 pediatric trauma centers with an open calvarial skull fracture were reviewed. Data collected included mechanism and anatomical site of injury; presence and depth of fracture depression; antibiotic choice, route, and duration; operative management; and infectious complications.

RESULTS

Of the fractures among the 138 patients included in the study, 48.6% were frontal and 80.4% were depressed; 58.7% of patients underwent fragment elevation. The average duration of intravenous antibiotics was 4.6 (range 0–21) days. Only 53 patients (38.4%) received a single intravenous antibiotic for fewer than 4 days. and 56 (40.6%) received oral antibiotics for an average of 7.3 (range 1–20) days. Wounds were managed exclusively in the emergency department in 28.3% of patients. Two children had infectious complications, including a late-presenting hardware infection and a superficial wound infection. There were no cases of meningitis or intracranial abscess. Neither antibiotic spectrum or duration nor bedside irrigation was associated with the development of infection.

CONCLUSIONS

The incidence of infectious complications in this population of children with open skull fractures was low and was not associated with the antibiotic strategy or site of wound care. Most minimally contaminated open skull fractures are probably best managed with a short duration of a single antibiotic, and emergency department closure is appropriate unless there is significant contamination or fragment elevation is necessary.