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Curr Treat Options Oncol. 2012 Dec;13(4):451-64. doi: 10.1007/s11864-012-0207-3.

The therapeutic management of bleeding and thrombotic disorders complicating CNS malignancies.

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Wake Forest Baptist Health, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston Salem, Box 2409, NC 27157, USA.


Patients with central nervous system (CNS) malignancies have a substantial risk for developing both thrombotic and bleeding disorders. The risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) is substantially higher in these patients, both in the perioperative period and throughout their disease course. Patients with CNS malignancy harbor a latent hypercoagulability, which predisposes to VTE, as do postoperative immobility, hemiparesis, and other factors. The management of VTE in these patients is complex, given the significant morbidity and mortality associated with intratumoral hemorrhage. In the past, the perceived risk of intracranial hemorrhage limited the use of anticoagulation for the management of VTE with many favoring nonpharmacologic methods for prophylaxis and treatment. Inferior vena cava (IVC) filters have since lost favor at many centers given significant complications, which appear to be more frequent in patients with CNS malignancy. Recent studies have demonstrated safe and efficacious use of anticoagulation in these patients with a low incidence of intracranial hemorrhage. Treatment of established VTE is now recommended in this population with many centers favoring low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) versus oral warfarin for short- or long-term treatment. We advocate a multimodality approach utilizing compression stockings, intermittent compression devices, and heparin in the perioperative setting as the best proven method to reduce the risk of VTE. In the absence of a strict contraindication to systemic anticoagulation, such as previous intracranial hemorrhage or profound thrombocytopenia, we recommend LMWH in patients with newly diagnosed VTE and a CNS malignancy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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