Which surgical procedure is effective for refractory chronic subdural hematoma? Analysis of our surgical procedures and literature review

Which surgical procedure is effective for refractory chronic subdural hematoma? Analysis of our surgical procedures and literature review

Highlights

We analyzed our surgical procedures and outcomes for refractory chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH).

Embolization of the middle meningeal artery may be suitable for refractory CSDH without organized hematoma.

We reviewed and discussed craniotomy and membranectomy for organized CSDH.

For refractory cases of organized CSDH, large craniotomy or mini-craniotomy assisted by endoscope may be suitable.

Abstract

Refractory chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH) is rare but remains a difficulty for neurosurgeons, and no consensus on treatment procedures has been established. To discuss effective surgical procedures for refractory CSDH, we analyzed our surgical procedures and outcomes for refractory CSDH. We defined patients with refractory CSDH as those who presented with two or more recurrences. Fourteen patients with refractory CSDH were analyzed. Eight patients underwent burr-hole irrigation and closed-system drainage alone, four patients received embolization of the middle meningeal artery (MMA), and two patients with organized CSDH underwent large craniotomy with outer membranectomy as the third surgery. Two of the eight patients (25%) treated with burr-hole irrigation and drainage alone showed a third recurrence. No further recurrences were identified in patients treated with embolization of the MMA or craniotomy. However, statistical analysis showed no significant difference in cure rate between patients treated with burr-hole irrigation and drainage alone and patients treated with burr-hole irrigation and drainage with embolization of the MMA (P = .42). Similarly, no significant differences in cure rate were seen between patients treated with burr-hole irrigation and drainage alone and patients treated with craniotomy (P = .62). When selecting a surgical procedure, assessing whether the CSDH is organized is crucial. Embolization of the MMA may be considered as one of the optional treatments for refractory CSDH without organized hematoma. On the other hand, for refractory cases of organized CSDH, hematoma evacuation and outer membranectomy with large craniotomy or mini-craniotomy assisted by an endoscope may be suitable, as previous reports have recommended.

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