Coagulation management in patients undergoing neurosurgical procedures

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Management of coagulation in neurosurgical procedures is challenging. In this contest, it is imperative to avoid further intracranial bleeding. Perioperative bleeding can be associated with a number of factors, including anticoagulant drugs and coagulation status but is also linked to the characteristic and the site of the intracranial disorder. The aim of this review will be to focus primarily on the new evidence regarding the management of coagulation in patients undergoing craniotomy for neurosurgical procedures.

Recent findings

Antihemostatic and anticoagulant drugs have shown to be associated with perioperative bleeding. On the other hand, an increased risk of venous thromboembolism and hypercoagulative state after elective and emergency neurosurgery, in particular after brain tumor surgery, has been described in several patients. To balance the risk between thrombosis and bleeding, it is important to be familiar with the perioperative changes in coagulation and with the recent management guidelines for anticoagulated patients undergoing neurosurgical procedures, in particular for those taking new direct anticoagulants. We have considered the current clinical trials and literature regarding both safety and efficacy of deep venous thrombosis prophylaxis in the neurosurgical population. These were mainly trials concerning both elective surgical and intensive care patients with a poor grade intracranial bleed or multiple traumas with an associated severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Summary

Coagulation management remains a major issue in patients undergoing neurosurgical procedures. However, in this field of research, literature quality is poor and further studies are necessary to identify the best strategies to minimize risks in this group of patients.

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