Ahead of Print: Quality of Postoperative Venous Thromboembolism Prophylaxis in Neuro-oncologic Surgery

BACKGROUND: Given the vagaries of published guidelines and the lack of high-quality evidence on the method, timing, and dose of venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis in neurological surgery, little is known about practice patterns regarding VTE prophylaxis in the United States.

OBJECTIVE: To estimate the use of VTE prophylaxis in patients who underwent surgery for a cerebral neoplasm and to identify patient, physician, and hospital characteristics associated with prophylaxis.

METHODS: Using the Premier Perspective database, we classified patients undergoing surgery for intracranial neoplasm between 2006 and 2012 on the basis of the type of VTE prophylaxis they received (mechanical, pharmacological, or combination). Generalized estimating equations were used to analyze the effects of pretreatment patient and system variables, including hospital and surgeon volume, on prophylaxis while controlling for hospital clustering.

RESULTS: A total of 43 327 patients were identified. Venous thromboembolism prophylaxis was given to 70.2% of patients. Overall, 16 957 (39.2%) had only mechanical prophylaxis, 5628 (13%) received only pharmacological prophylaxis, and 7826 (18.1%) received combination prophylaxis. Patients with high-volume providers (odds ratio, 2.22; 95% confidence interval, 1.33-3.69) were more likely to receive prophylaxis.

CONCLUSION: Nearly one-third of patients who underwent surgery for an intracranial tumor did not receive any VTE prophylaxis. We noted that the rate of overall VTE prophylaxis did not significantly change over the course of the 7 years analyzed despite an increasing focus on complication prevention. High-volume surgeons were more likely to provide VTE prophylaxis.

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