Subdural Hematoma in Patients With Cancer

Neurosurgery 71:74–79, 2012 DOI: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e3182517938

Subdural hematoma (SDH) in patients with cancer is poorly described, and its frequency and causes may have changed with recent oncologic advances.

OBJECTIVE: We conducted an analysis of the clinical and radiographic features, etiologies, treatments, and outcomes of patients with SDHs and cancer.

METHODS: We retrospectively identified patients at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center with a diagnosis of SDH and cancer from January 2000 to December 2007. We analyzed clinical and radiographic data; multivariate Cox regression was performed to associate tumor type and etiology with survival outcome.

RESULTS: There were 90 patients; 66 had acute or subacute SDHs, 9 chronic SDHs, 11 subdural hygromas, and 4 SDHs of unclear chronicity. Gliomas (16%), leukemias (14%), and prostate cancers (14%) were the most frequent malignancies. The most common single etiologies were coagulopathy (27%) and trauma (11%). SDHs with multiple etiologies occurred in 25 patients (28%) with the combination of coagulopathy and trauma occurring in 15. Sixty patients (67%) were either completely or partially independent after SDH, and 1-year survival was 43% (95% confidence interval: 32.1-52.9). Overall survival correlated with etiology (P , .0001) and whether the malignancy was in remission (P = .005). Trauma was associated with the best overall survival compared with coagulopathy.

CONCLUSION: Leukemia and prostate cancer are the most common systemic cancers associated with SDH, and gliomas may predispose to SDH more often than previously recognized. Coagulopathy is common and associated with the worst outcome, but many patients experience good functional outcome and survival.

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