/clinical/,/clinical/pted/,/clinical/pted/hffy/,/clinical/pted/hffy/cancer/,

/clinical/pted/hffy/cancer/7329.hffy

201708220

page

100

UWHC,UWMF,

Clinical Hub,Patient Education,Health and Nutrition Facts For You,Cancer, BMT, Hematology

Blood Clots or Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Brain Tumors (7329)

Blood Clots or Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Brain Tumors (7329) - Clinical Hub, Patient Education, Health and Nutrition Facts For You, Cancer, BMT, Hematology

7329



Blood Clots or Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Brain Tumors

Many patients with brain tumors are at risk
of getting clots in one or both legs. Patients
with malignant brain tumors, such as GBM
or anaplastic gliomas, are at the highest risk.

What is a DVT?
A deep vein thrombosis can happen when a
blood clot (thrombosis) forms inside a vein.
This is most common in the calf or thigh.
This clot can change blood flow. Also, a
piece of the blood clot can break free and
travel to the heart or lungs, called a
pulmonary embolus (PE). This would block
blood flow in these parts of your body and
requires more urgent care.

What are the risk factors?
ξ Immobility
ξ Cancer
ξ Injuries
ξ Infections and inflammatory diseases
ξ Smoking
ξ Overweight
ξ Traveling long distances (sitting too
long)
ξ Inherited clotting disorders
ξ Pregnancy
ξ Birth control pills

What are the signs of a DVT?
Many times a DVT may happen without
clear signs. Call your doctor if you notice:
ξ Pain or tenderness in the calf part of
the leg
ξ Swelling of one foot, ankle, or calf –
more than the other side
ξ Redness in the calf or ankle
ξ “Hot spots” or a feeling of more
warmth in part of the leg
ξ Discoloration or obvious large veins

These are signs of a PE- Seek help right
away if you have:
ξ Shortness of breath
ξ Rapid pulse
ξ Increased sweating
or anxiety
ξ Sharp chest pain
ξ Coughing up blood
ξ Dizziness or
fainting

How is a DVT Diagnosed?
The most common test to find out if you
have a DVT is the Doppler scan or
Doppler ultrasound.
ξ This non-invasive test uses a wand-
like device (a transducer) and sound
waves to check the flow of blood in
your veins.
ξ A gel is put on the skin of the leg,
and the wand is passed back and
forth over the leg.
ξ The computer turns the sound waves
into a picture that shows where the
clot is found.

The most common test to find out if you
have a PE (pulmonary embolus) is a Spiral
CAT (CT) scan of your chest
ξ A CAT scan is a special computer
that makes detailed pictures of your
internal organs through the use of x-
rays.
ξ An IV is placed and contrast dye is
given.
ξ If you have any known allergies to
contrast dyes, seafood or shellfish,
be sure to tell us before having this
test.


How is a DVT treated?
Sometimes these medicines are called
“blood thinners.” Their function is to
decrease clotting and to stop the clot that is
already there from getting bigger. They also
stop new clots from forming. Over time,
your body will naturally break up the clot
that is there.

Anticoagulant medicines
ξ Low molecular weight heparin
(LMWH) (Lovenox® also called
Enoxaparin and Fragmin® also called
Dalteparin)
o These are the preferred
medicines to treat a DVT or
PE in a patient with a brain
tumor
o Given as a shot
(subcutaneously)
o No blood tests needed
o Risk of bleeding low
o Rarely interacts with
medicines
ξ Warfarin (also called Coumadin®)
o Given as a tablet
o Needs blood tests often
o Is adjusted based on the
results of the blood test
o May cause bleeding
o Interacts with many
medicines
o These should ONLY be used
if the patient can’t have the
above “LMWH” medicines.
ξ Heparin
o Given through an IV- in the
hospital
o Needs blood tests often
o Is adjusted based on the
results of the blood test
o May cause bleeding
o Interacts with many
medicines

Once you are placed on a certain medicine,
ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist for
more facts about that medicine.



















Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 8/2017 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7329