Thromboembolic phenomena in neurosurgical patients operated upon for primary and metastatic brain tumours

S. Constantini, R. Kornowski, S. Pomeranz, Z. H. Rappaport

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A retrospective study was designed to evaluate clinical thromboembolic phenomena (TEP) in patients operated upon for brain tumours. Among 492 patients treated surgically in the supratentorial area, the overall incidence of clinical TEP was 7%. There were 5% with deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and 4% with clinical pulmonary embolism (PE). Seven patients (1%) died from massive PE. Among 141 patients treated surgically in the infratentorial area there were no episodes of TEP. Significant risk factors for TEP development were operations in the supratentorial area, malignant gliomas (compared to meningiomas) and para- or hemiparesis. Age, sex and the specific location in the supratentorial area were not found to be statistically significant risk factors. Among 12 patients who presented initially with DVT two developed PE despite full heparinization. 7/19 patients with PE died within minutes to hours of the clinical episode despite full conservative measures. In 2/26 patients who were treated with full heparinization complications occurred. There was one case of diffuse subcutaneous bleeding and one case of tumour bed haematoma. The identification of risk factors for the development of TEP will allow the implementation of prophylactic measures in appropriate patients undergoing elective brain tumour surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-97
Number of pages5
JournalActa Neurochirurgica
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Sep 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • brain tumours
  • pulmonary embolism
  • thromboembolic phenomena


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