Early endoscope-assisted hematoma evacuation in patients with supratentorial intracerebral hemorrhage: case selection, surgical technique, and long-term results

Neurosurg Focus 30 (4):E9, 2011. DOI: 10.3171/2011.2.FOCUS10313

Currently, the effectiveness of minimally invasive evacuation of intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) utilizing the endoscopic method is uncertain and the technique is considered investigational.

The authors analyzed their experience with this method in terms of case selection, surgical technique, and long-term results.

Methods. The authors performed a retrospective analysis of the clinical and radiographic data obtained in 68 patients treated with endoscope-assisted ICH evacuation. Rebleeding, morbidity, and mortality were recorded as primary end points. Hematoma evacuation rate was calculated by comparing the pre- and postoperative CT scans. Glasgow Coma Scale scores and scores on the extended Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOSE) were recorded at the 6-month postoperative follow-up. The technical aspect of this report explains details of the procedure, the instruments that are used, the methods for hemostasis, and the role of hemostatic agents in the management of intraoperative hemorrhage. The pertinent literature was reviewed and summarized.

Results. All surgeries were performed within 12 hours of ictus, and 84% of the surgeries were performed within 4 hours. The mortality rate was 5.9%, and surgery-related morbidity occurred in 3 cases (4.4%). The hematoma evacuation rate was 93% overall—96% in the putaminal group, 86% in the thalamic group, and 98% in the subcortical group. The rebleeding rate was 1.5%. The mean operative time was 85 minutes, and the average blood loss was 56 ml. The mean GOSE score was 4.9 at 6-month follow-up. The authors acknowledge the limitations of these preliminary results in a small number of patients.

Conclusions. The data suggest that early endoscope-assisted ICH evacuation is safe and effective in the management of supratentorial ICH. The rebleeding, morbidity, and mortality rates are low compared with rates reported in the literature for the traditional craniotomy method. This study also showed that early and complete evacuation of ICH may lead to improved outcomes in selected patients. However, the safety and efficacy of endoscope-assisted ICH evacuation should be further investigated in a large, prospective, randomized trial.

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