Deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolisms in adult patients undergoing craniotomy for brain tumors

Kaisorn L. Chaichana, Courtney Pendleton, Christopher Jackson, Juan Carlos Martinez-Gutierrez, Andrea Diaz-Stransky, Javier Aguayo, Alessandro Olivi, Jon Weingart, Gary Gallia, Michael Lim, Henry Brem, Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Objective: The development of venothromboembolisms (VTEs), including deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary emboli (PE), is common in brain tumor patients. Their development can be catastrophic. Studies evaluating pre-operative clinical factors that predispose patients to the development of VTE are few and limited. An understanding may help risk stratify patients and guide subsequent therapy aimed at reducing the risk of DVTs/PEs. Methods: All adult patients who underwent surgery for an intracranial tumor at an academic tertiary care institution between 1998 and 2008 were retrospectively reviewed. Stepwise multivariate logistical regression analysis was used to identify pre-operative factors associated with the development of peri-operative (within 30 days of surgery) DVTs/PEs among patients who underwent surgery of their intracranial tumor. Results: Of the 4293 patients in this study, 126 (3%) patients developed DVT and/or PE in the peri-operative period. The pre-operative factors independently associated with the development of DVTs/PEs were: poorer Karnofsky performance scale (KPS) [odds ratio (OR), 1.040; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.026-1.052; P<0.0001], high grade glioma (OR, 1.702; 95% CI, 1.176-2.465; P50.005), older age (OR, 1.033; 95% CI, 1.020- 1.046; P<0.0001), hypertension (OR, 1.785; 95% CI, 1.180-2.699; P50.006), and motor deficit (OR, 1.854; 95% CI, 1.244-2.763; P50.002). Eighty six per cent of the patients with DVTs/PEs were treated with either unfractionated or low molecular weight heparin, and 4% of these patients developed intracranial hemorrhage. Discussion: The present study found that poorer functional status, older age, pre-operative motor deficit, high grade glioma, and hypertension each independently increased the risk of developing peri-operative DVTs/PEs. These findings may provide patients and physicians with prognostic information that may guide therapies aimed at minimizing the development of peri-operative DVTs/PEs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)206-211
Number of pages6
JournalNeurological research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2013


  • Brain tumor
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Glioma
  • Heparin
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Venothromboembolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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