Decompressive craniectomy for acute subdural haematoma: an overview of current prognostic factors and a discussion about some novel prognostic parametres

Murat Kalayci, Erol Aktunç, Sanser Gül, Volkan Hanci, Nurullah Edebali, Ferda Cagavi, Bektas Açikgöz
JPMA. the Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association 2013, 63 (1): 38-49

OBJECTIVE: To identify specific factors that can be used to predict functional outcome and to assess the value of decompressive craniectomy in patients with acute subdural haematoma.

METHODS: The retrospective study was done at the Zonguldak Karaelwas University Practice and Research Hospital, Turkey, and included 34 trauma patients who had undergone decompressive craniectomy for acute subdural haematoma from 2001 to 2009. At the 30th day of the operation, the patients were grouped as survivors and non-survivors. Besides, based on their Glasgow Outcome Scale, which was calculated 6 months postoperatively, the patients were divided into two functional groups: favourable outcomes (4-5 on the scale), and unfavourable outcomes (1-3 on the scale). The characteristics of the groups were compared using SPSS 15 for statistical analysis.

RESULTS: One-month mortality was 38.2% (n = 13) and 6-month total mortality reached 47% (n = 16). Patients with higher pre-operative revised trauma score, Glasgow coma scale, partial anterial pressure of carbon dioxide, arterial oxygen pressure, Charlson co-morbidity index score, blood glucose level, blood urea nitrogen, and lower age had a higher rate of survival and consequently a favourable outcome. Higher platelet values were only found to be a determinant of higher survival at the end of the first month without having any significant effect on the favourable outcome.

CONCLUSION: In patients of traumatic acute subdural haematoma whose Glasgow coma scale on arrival was < or = 8, a massive craniectomy along with the evacuation of the haematoma, may be considered as a treatment option for intra-operative and post-operative brain swelling. But in patients with a score of 3 on arrival and bilaterally fixed and dilated pupils, decompressive craniectomy is unnecessary.

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