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Population-based estimates suggest middle meningeal artery embolization for subdural hematomas could significantly expand the scope of neurovascular therapies.

BACKGROUND: This study quantifies the impact of middle meningeal artery embolization (MMAE) for subdural hematomas (SDHs) by estimating a target population.

METHODS: A population-based study at a tertiary hospital, the main SDH facility for a four-county population, used primary ICD-10 codes over 3 years to collate SDH hospitalizations. Clinical and imaging data confirmed traumatic versus non-traumatic and acute versus non-acute (mixed or chronic) SDH. The MMAE-eligible population included patients with non-traumatic, non-acute SDH aged ≥18 years plus patients with 'traumatic' but non-acute SDH aged ≥60 years presenting with a fall. This was contrasted with the rate of large vessel strokes in the same population.

RESULTS: 1279 hospitalizations with a primary ICD-10 SDH diagnosis were identified, with 389 from the study population. Excluding repeat admissions, 350 patients were analyzed, 233 (67%) traumatic, and 117 (33%) non-traumatic SDH. Regarding etiology, 'fall ≥60 years' was the most common category in the entire cohort (n=156; 45% (95% CI 39% to 50%)). The SDH rate was 52/100 000 persons/year (95% CI 47 to 57). The rate of all non-traumatic, non-acute SDH in patients aged ≥18 years was 17/100 000 persons/year (95% CI 15 to 20), combining with 'traumatic' but non-acute fall-related SDH in patients aged ≥60 years yielded 41/100 000 persons/year (95% CI 36 to 47). This demographic may represent an MMAE-eligible population, exceeding large vessel stroke rates (31/100 000 persons/year) in the same population, estimating 139 387 potential MMAE cases/year (95% CI 121 517 to 158 168) in the USA.

CONCLUSION: MMAE could transform non-acute SDH management, especially in the elderly, potentially surpassing the impact of large vessel stroke. Clinical trials are essential for validation of its efficacy and safety compared with standard management.

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