Steroid in Chronic Subdural Hematoma: An Updated Systematic Review and Meta- Analysis Post DEX-CSDH Trial

World Neurosurg. (2022) 158:84-99

Chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH) is a neurologic condition characterized as a hematoma in the subdural space with a period >3 weeks that primarily affects the elderly. Glucocorticoid, especially dexamethasone, either alone or combined with surgery, has been used to manage CSDH. We aimed to perform an updated systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature regarding the role of steroids in CSDH.

METHODS: We searched the electronic databases PubMed, PubMed Central, Scopus, and Embase for relevant articles until December 2020. Study characteristics, quality, and end points were extracted, and analysis was performed by RevMan 5.4.

RESULTS: The odds for subdural hematoma recurrence were decreased by 61% in the steroid group (odds ratio [OR], 0.39; confidence interval [CI], 0.19e 0.79) compared with the control group. There was no significant difference in mortality during the study period (OR, 0.66; CI, 0.20e2.18), modified Rankin Scale score 0e3 (OR, 0.87; CI, 0.31e2.40), and modified Rankin Scale score 4e6 (OR, 1.15; CI, 0.42e3.18) between the 2 groups. However, pooling data from 3 studies showed 2.7 times higher odds of occurring adverse effects in steroid groups using the fixed-effect model (OR, 2.70; CI, 1.71e4.28). The treatment success was similar between the steroid and control groups (OR, 2.39; CI, 0.94e6.04).

CONCLUSIONS: Treatment with steroids was associated with a lesser recurrence of CSDH. However, there was no benefit of steroid treatment in CSDH compared with nonsteroid treatment in terms of mortality and treatment success and some but significantly increased risk of adverse events.