Delayed post-operative haemorrhage after carmustine wafer implantation

Implantation of carmustine wafers has been associated with increased operative site complications in some series, but post-operative haematoma is not routinely reported.

A retrospective audit of surgical site haematoma after tumour resection and insertion of carmustine wafers in two neurosurgical units in the UK (University Hospital of North Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent, March 2003 – July 2012; Wessex Neurological Centre, Southampton, October 2005 – January 2013) in 181 operations of 177 patients showed 8 (4.4%) patients. All presented in a delayed fashion on or after Day 2 post-operatively. In contrast, acute operative site haematoma was present in 4/491 (0.81%) of patients who underwent resection without gliadel wafer insertion.

In contrast to the expected timing of bleeding following intracranial tumour resection, all carmustine wafer patients who experienced haemorrhage presented in a delayed fashion on or after Day 2 post-operatively. The causative factors for universally delayed post-operative haematoma after carmustine wafer insertion are unclear and further studies are required to characterize this phenomenon1

  1. Shah RS, Homapour B, Casselden E, Barr JG, Grundy PL, Brydon HL. Delayed
    post-operative haemorrhage after carmustine wafer implantation: a case series
    from two UK centres. Br J Neurosurg. 2013 Dec 9. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed
    PMID: 24313309. []

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