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José Pedro Lavrador, Prajwal Ghimire, Richard Gullan, Keyoumars Ashkan, Francesco Vergani, and Ranjeev Singh Bhangoo

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José P. Lavrador, Graeme Pang, Francesco Vergani, Ranjeev Bhangoo, Richard Gullan, and Keyoumars Ashkan

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José Pedro Lavrador, Shami Acharya, Anastasios Giamouriadis, Francesco Vergani, Keyoumars Ashkan, and Ranjeev Bhangoo

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Anmol Pandey, Bhaskar Thakur, Florence Hogg, Christian Brogna, Jamie Logan, Roopen Arya, Richard Gullan, Ranjeev Bhangoo, and Keyoumars Ashkan

OBJECTIVE

Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a major cause of morbidity in patients undergoing neurosurgical intervention. The authors postulate that the introduction of a routine preoperative deep vein thrombosis (DVT) screening protocol for patients undergoing neurosurgical intervention for brain tumors would result in a more effective diagnosis of DVT in this high-risk subgroup, and subsequent appropriate management of the condition would reduce pulmonary embolism (PE) rates and improve patient outcomes.

METHODS

The authors conducted a prospective study of 115 adult patients who were undergoing surgical intervention for a brain tumor. All patients underwent preoperative lower-limb Doppler ultrasonography scanning for DVT screening. Patients with confirmed DVT underwent a period of anticoagulation therapy, which was stopped prior to surgery. An inferior vena cava (IVC) filter was inserted to cover the perioperative period during which anticoagulation therapy was avoided due to bleeding risk before restarting the therapy at a later date. Patients underwent follow-up performed by a neurooncology multidisciplinary team, and subsequent complications and outcomes were recorded.

RESULTS

Seven (6%) of the 115 screened patients had DVT. Of these patients, one developed postoperative PE, and another had bilateral DVT postoperatively. None of the patients without preoperative DVT developed VTE postoperatively. Age, symptoms of DVT, and previous history of VTE were significantly higher in the group with preoperative DVT. There were no deaths and no complications from the anticoagulation or IVC filter insertion.

CONCLUSIONS

Preoperative screening for DVT is a worthwhile endeavor in patients undergoing neurosurgical intervention. A multidisciplinary approach in management of anticoagulation and IVC filter insertion is safe and can minimize further VTE in such patients.