Neurological disorders are often associated with immobilization, thus placing patients at increased risk for venous thromboembolism (VTE). This risk is very high in patients with acute ischemic stroke and spinal cord injuries, and it remains poorly defined in patients with peripheral nervous disorders or degenerative disorders of the central nervous system. The benefit of prophylactic strategies remains often unclear. The Italian Society for Studies on Haemostasis and Thrombosis promoted the development of evidence- and consensus-based guidelines to help physicians involved in the management of neurological patients. After a comprehensive and systematic review of the literature, a panel of experts formulated recommendations for the prevention of VTE in adolescent or adult patients presenting with different neurological disorders. Patients with acute ischemic stroke should routinely receive pharmacological prophylaxis to be started within 48 hours and continued for approximately 14 days; patients with acute hemorrhagic stroke should routinely receive mechanical prophylaxis, pharmacological prophylaxis should be considered once the patient is stable; patients with neuro-muscular degenerative diseases and with other major risk factors for venous thrombosis should be considered for the administration of pharmacological or mechanical prophylaxis; patients with peripheral nerve diseases should receive mechanical prophylaxis while immobilized and in the presence of additional risk factors for VTE, patients with Guillain Barrè should be considered for pharmacological prophylaxis with low molecular weight heparin; patients with spinal cord injury should receive combined mechanical and pharmacological prophylaxis; patients with non traumatic spinal cord diseases should be considered for pharmacological prophylaxis.
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