The incidence of venous thromboembolism (VTE) remains high despite the use of low-molecular weight heparin (LMWH) and compression stocking (CS). We aimed to evaluate the use of IPC as VTE prophylaxis in neurosurgical patients.
We conducted meta-analysis to assess the use of IPC as VTE prophylaxis in neurosurgical patients from several databases.
There was a total of 7.515 subjects from 5 studies. Reduction in VTE incidence was demonstrated by the IPC group (OR 0.40 [0.31, 0.52], p < 0.001; I: 44 %). IPC was shown to reduce the incidence of deep venous thrombosis (DVT) (OR 0.43 [0.32, 0.57], p < 0.001; I: 0 %) compared to the control group. Incidence of pulmonary embolism (PE) was lower (OR 0.42 [0.25, 0.70], p < 0.001; I: 80 %) in IPC. Upon sensitivity analysis, PE was significantly lower in IPC (OR 0.24 [0.13, 0.45], p < 0.001; I: 0 %). Subgroup analysis on patients undergoing neurosurgical intervention (operation) and receiving LMWH + CS shows a markedly reduced incidence of VTE (OR 0.37 [0.28, 0.50], p < 0.001; I: 3 %), DVT (OR 0.39 [0.28, 0.54], p < 0.001; I: 0 %), and PE (OR 0.22 [0.11, 0.43], p < 0.001; I: 0 %) in IPC.
Intermittent pneumatic compression was associated with less VTE in neurosurgical patients, especially in those who received neurosurgical interventions, however, the certainty of evidence remained inadequate for creating a strong recommendation and further randomized controlled trials are needed before drawing a definite conclusion.

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