Risk Stratification for Postoperative Venous Thromboembolism after Endoscopic Sinus Surgery

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Venous thromboembolism (VTE) contributes to significant patient morbidity, yet the incidence of VTE following endoscopic sinus surgery (ESS) is unknown. Quality improvement criteria are prompting increased standardization of perioperative VTE prophylaxis. Risk stratification for VTE may better define best practice measures to balance limiting VTE development with avoiding unnecessary chemoprophylaxis.

Study Design

Retrospective cohort study.


Tertiary institution.

Subjects and Methods

Adult patients who underwent ESS without perioperative chemoprophylaxis from 2008 to 2016 were evaluated. Identification of VTE was performed via screening diagnosis and procedure codes and clinical records, with subsequent confirmation of true-positive VTE. Data for individual Caprini scores were abstracted from electronic medical records. The primary outcome was development of VTE within 30 days following ESS relative to the Caprini score.


A total of 2369 ESS cases were evaluated. While initial screening identified multiple potential VTE events, in-depth medical record review confirmed only 4 true VTE (0.17%). The VTE rate among cases with a Caprini score of <8 (0.09%, 2/2278) was significantly less (P = .008) than the rate with a score of ≥8 (2.2%, 2/91). Beyond overall score, specific risk factors associated with development of postoperative VTE included stroke, central venous access, sepsis, and inpatient status (all P < .025), while prior VTE and hypercoagulability were not associated with postoperative VTE (all P > .5).


In the absence of perioperative chemoprophylaxis, postoperative VTE following ESS is extremely rare, particularly for patients carrying low-to-moderate Caprini scores. Risk stratification based on these data can assist in the design of VTE prophylaxis guidelines for ESS patients.

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