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Effectiveness of Cerebrospinal Fluid Lumbar Drainage Among Patients with Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage: An Updated Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

INTRODUCTION: Cerebral vasospasm in patients after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) continues to be a major source of morbidity despite significant clinical and basic science research. The removal of blood and its degradation products from the subarachnoid space through prophylactic lumbar drainage (LD) is a favorable option. However, several studies have delivered conflicting conclusions on its efficacy after aSAH.

METHODS: Systematic searches of Medline, Embase, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials were performed. The primary outcome was a good functional outcome (modified Rankin scale score, 0-2). Secondary outcomes included symptomatic vasospasm, secondary cerebral infarction, and mortality.

RESULTS: A total of 14 studies reporting on 2473 patients with aSAH were included in the meta-analysis. Compared with the non-LD group, no significant differences were found in the rates of good functional outcomes in the LD group at discharge to 1 month (risk ratio [RR], 1.28; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.64-2.58) or at 6 months (RR, 1.12; 95% CI, 0.97-1.41). These findings were consistent in the subgroup analyses of only randomized controlled trials or observational studies. LD was associated with lower rates of symptomatic vasospasm (RR, 0.61; 95% CI, 0.48-0.77), secondary cerebral infarction (RR, 0.59; 95% CI, 0.45-0.79), and mortality at discharge to 1 month (RR, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.41-0.82). The effect on mortality diminished at 6 months (RR, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.34-1.45). However, when analyzing only randomized controlled trials, the benefit of LD on lower rates of mortality continued even at 6 months (RR, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.58-0.99).

CONCLUSIONS: For aSAH patients, the use of LD is associated with benefits in the rates of vasospasm, secondary cerebral infarctions, and mortality, without an increased risk of adverse events.

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