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Eur Spine J. 2004 Feb;13(1):9-13. Epub 2003 Nov 13.

Postoperative nadroparin administration for prophylaxis of thromboembolic events is not associated with an increased risk of hemorrhage after spinal surgery.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe University, Schleusenweg 2-16, 60528 Frankfurt/Main, Germany.



To determine the risk of postoperative hemorrhage during a 3-year period of early postoperative administration of nadroparin (Fraxiparin) plus compression stockings in a large cohort of patients who underwent spinal surgery.


A total of 1,954 spinal procedures at different levels (503 cervical, 152 thoracic and 1,299 lumbar), performed between June 1999 and 2002 at the Department of Neurosurgery, Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe University Frankfurt, were included in this study. To prevent venous thromboembolic events (VTE), all patients were routinely treated subcutaneously with 0.3 ml of early (less than 24 h) postoperative nadroparin calcium (Fraxiparin) (2850 IU anti-Xa, Sanofi Winthrop Industrie, France) plus intra- and postoperative compression stockings until discharge. The occurrence of a postoperative hematoma (defined as a hematoma requiring surgical evacuation because of space occupation and/or neurological deterioration) and a deep venous thrombosis (DVT) were recorded in a database and analyzed retrospectively.


13 (0.7%) of the 1,954 spinal operations were complicated by major postoperative hemorrhages. In 5 of the 13 patients (38.5%) the hemorrhage occurred on the day of surgery before the administration of nadroparin. Thus, the hemorrhage rate of patients receiving nadroparin was 0.4% (8/1,949). Ten (77%) of the 13 patients with major postoperative hematoma showed a progressive neurological deficit, which resolved in 6 patients and resulted in a hematoma-related morbidity of 31% (4/13). Only 1 patient (0.05%) in this series developed a clinically evident DVT, and none of the patients suffered from pulmonary embolus during the hospital stay.


Although retrospective, this is to date the largest study providing information about the hemorrhage rate associated with early postoperative anticoagulation following spinal surgery. The results confirm that early postoperative pharmacological thromboembolic prophylaxis using nadroparin in patients with spinal surgery is not associated with an increased risk of postoperative hemorrhage.

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