Minimally invasive treatment for intracerebral hemorrhage

Neurosurg Focus 32 (4):E3, 2012.

Spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage is a serious public health problem and is fatal in 30%–50% of all occurrences. The role of open surgical management of supratentorial intracerebral hemorrhage is still unresolved. A recent consensus conference sponsored by the National Institutes of Health suggests that minimally invasive techniques to evacuate clots appear to be a promising area and warrant further investigation. In this paper the authors review past, current, and potential future methods of treating intraparenchymal hemorrhages with minimally invasive techniques and review new data regarding the role of stereotactically placed catheters and thrombolytics.

A minimally invasive approach to evacuate ICH has been well documented to be a safe practice. Thus far, the CLEAR and MISTIE studies have supported this assertion. An increased rate of clot lysis could potentially be achieved with a combination of mechanical and pharmaceutical approaches. However, more extensive studies need to be conducted to determine whether the additional mechanical effects via ultrasound further yield beneficial long-term outcome versus pharmacological lysis alone. Currently, catheters are being redesigned for this purpose and will be evaluated in additional future clinical trials.