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J Neurosurg Sci. 2009 Jun;53(2):45-8.

Practical use of intermittent pneumatic compression as thromboprophylaxis in neurosurgery.

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Department of Transfusion Medicine, Center for Hemorrhagic and Thrombotic Diseases, General University Hospital of Udine, Udine, Italy.


Most patients undergoing neurosurgery are considered at increased risk for venous thromboembolism (VTE). Several studies have demonstrate that intracranial surgery, malignancy, leg weakness, prolonged procedures and advanced age can to increase VTE. Use of thromboprophylaxis is recommended to avoid this risk. Low molecular weight heparin (LMWH), low dose unfractionated heparin (LDUH), intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) and graduated compression stocking (GCS) are commonly used as VTE prophylaxis. This article wants to show the practical use of IPC in neurosurgery, following the guidelines developed by American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) and used by the most important medical societies such as American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and European Association of Neurosurgical Societies (EANS). Several studies have demonstrated that IPC use is effective as LMWH, safe and economic.

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