• venous thromboembolism;
  • SCIP;
  • thromboprophylaxis;
  • chemoprophylaxis;
  • thromboembolic disease;
  • pulmonary embolus;
  • deep venous thrombosis;
  • bone sarcoma;
  • soft-tissue sarcoma


Background and Objectives

This study reviews incidence and risk factors for venous thromboembolism (VTE) in bone/soft-tissue sarcoma patients prior to the initiation of Surgical Care Improvement Program (SCIP) measures in October 2009.


A retrospective chart review identified 171 cases of bone (51) and soft-tissue (120) sarcoma. Data were extracted on demographics, histology, presence of metastasis at presentation, type of adjuvant therapy, and established risk factors for VTE. Risk factors and outcomes were analyzed using chi-square and logistic regression with the Fisher exact test.


The rate of clinically diagnosed VTE was 4.1% (7/171). Only those patients undergoing chemotherapy were found to have a significantly increased risk of VTE (P = 0.04). Chemical prophylaxis showed a trend toward reduction in the risk of VTE (2.4% vs. 9.1%, P = 0.13). The number of individual patient prothrombotic risk factors showed a trend towards increased risk of VTE (P = 0.12).


The current rate of 4.1% is at the lower end of the range of reported incidence for musculoskeletal oncology patients. Furthermore, VTE did not occur only in patients with hip/thigh sarcomas, as previously reported by some. The trend for reduced incidence with chemoprophylaxis favors prophylactic measures but requires further substantiation in larger studies. J. Surg. Oncol. 2011;103:643–647. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.