BACKGROUND: Postoperative intracranial haemorrhage can be a dramatic event, carrying significant morbidity and mortality. Bleeding at sites remote from the operation area represents a small percentage of haemorrhages whose aetiology remains unclear (Harders et al. Acta Neurochir (Wien) 74(1-2):57-60, 1985).
AIM: We present the case of a 60-year-old patient who underwent posterior fossa craniotomy for the removal of a space-occupying lesion and suffered supratentorial haemorrhage soon after the operation.
RESULTS: A thorough postoperative investigation revealed low levels of factor XIII (FXIII), the factor mainly responsible for fibrin clot stabilisation.
CONCLUSION: We suggest that reduced FXIII activity may be an important but preventable predisposing factor to remote postoperative haemorrhage in neurosurgical patients.