Neurosurgical Procedure for Treatment of Traumatic Subdural Hematoma with Severe Brain Injury: A Single Center Matched-Pair Analysis

Dean Girotto, Darko Ledić, Vlado Đajić, Zoran Vujković, Nenad Mihelčić


Decompressive craniectomy (DC), an auxiliary neurosurgical invasive procedure, has been a part of the treatment regimen for severe brain injury (SBI). Today DC is the standard of care in patients with middle cerebral artery infarction. Our previous positive research results about effectiveness of DC procedure when applied to a specific group of SBI patients have made a solid base for a clinical evaluation of DC technique application to patients with isolated SBI with traumatic subdural hematoma (TSDH), despite controversies regarding clinical benefit of DC technique when applied to STBI patients. A matched-pair analysis has been performed to compare long-term clinical outcomes in patients with and without the DC technique applied. This study has encompassed 150 consecutive STBI patients with TSDH, aged between 18 and 82 years. One hundred patients had required application of DC procedure, while remaining 50 patients represented a matched control group in which the DC procedure had not been applied. The control group match was conducted on the basis of epidemiological and potential prognostic factors, such as age, gender, DC surface area and Glasgow Coma Score (GCS). The main reason for occurrence of STBI with TSDH was traffic accidents, with sex ration 2:1 (male/female), while 2/3 of patients were aged between 26 and 40 years. Mortality rate of 18% had occurred in the group of patients in which DC procedure was applied early in the first 24 hours after the injury, while mortality rate of 54% had occurred in the group of patients in which DC procedure was applied later than 24 hours after the injury, in comparison to mortality rate of 35% that had occurred in the control matched group of patients. Also, better control of intracranial pressure (ICP) had occurred in patients in which a DC surface was made larger than 40ccm. In addition, less computed tomography (CT) scans were made as a follow up care procedure in patients in which DC procedure was performed and especially if DC procedure had been performed within 24 hours after the injury. However, regardless of many positive results that an early application of DC procedure has had on SBI patients with TSDH, an expected increase in immediate or delayed complications had occurred, for example we had recorded an increased number of encefalocele. Significantly better outcome of clinical recovery with less cases of morbidity and deaths had occurred in patients in which TSDH was removed with the DC technique within 24 hours after the time of injury and also if a DC surface had had size over 40 ccm, in comparison to the group of patients that had TSDH removed with DC technique within longer period of time than 24 hours  after the time of injury and also better than the control group.


decompressive cranietomy, elevated intracranial pressure, severe brain injury, traumatic subdural hematoma, treatment outcome

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