Mortality Outcome of Emergency Decompressive Craniectomy and Craniotomy in the Management of Acute Subdural Hematoma: A National Data Analysis

Nasim Ahmed, Patricia Greenberg, SeungHoon Shin
American Surgeon 2021, 87 (3): 347-353

BACKGROUND: The purpose of the study is to evaluate the in-hospital mortality of patients who presented with acute subdural hematoma (SDH) and underwent emergency decompressive craniectomy (DC) or craniotomy (CO) within 4 hours of hospital arrival.

METHOD: The National Trauma Data Bank (NTDB) dataset of the calendar year of 2007 through 2010 was accessed for the study. All blunt severe head injury patients who presented with acute SDH were included in the study. Severe head injury is defined as a head Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) score ≥3 and a Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score ≤8. Univariate followed by propensity-matched analyses were performed to compare the two procedure groups: DC and CO.

RESULTS: Out of 2370 patients, 518, (21.9%) patients underwent DC. There were significant differences found in the univariate analysis between the DC and CO groups for median age (38 (IQR: 22.0, 55.0) vs 49 (IQR: 27, 67), P < .001), mechanism of injury (fall: 33.2% vs 50.7%; motor vehicle crashes: 58.3% vs 40.9%, P < .001), and median injury severity score (ISS: 26.0 (IQR: 25, 38) vs 26 (IQR: 25.0, 33.0), P < .001). After propensity score matching and pair-matched analysis, no differences were found with any of the above characteristics. The pair-matched analysis also showed no significant difference in in-hospital mortality (42.7% vs 37.5%, P = .10) between the DC vs CO groups.

CONCLUSION: The overall in-hospital mortality for emergency CO or DC for the evacuation of SDH remains high. The preference of one operative procedure over the other did not impact overall mortality.

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