Reducing morbidity associated with subdural drain placement after burr‑hole drainage of unilateral chronic subdural hematomas

Acta Neurochirurgica (2023) 165:3207–3215

Placement of a subdural drain after burr-hole drainage of chronic subdural hematoma (cSDH) significantly reduces risk of its recurrence and lowers mortality at 6 months. Nonetheless, measures to reduce morbidity related to drain placement are rarely addressed in the literature. Toward reducing drain-related morbidity, we compare outcomes achieved by conventional insertion and our proposed modification.

Methods In this retrospective series from two institutions, 362 patients underwent burr-hole drainage of unilateral cSDH with subsequent subdural drain insertion by conventional technique or modified Nelaton catheter (NC) technique. Primary endpoints were iatrogenic brain contusion or new neurological deficit. Secondary endpoints were drain misplacement, indication for computed tomography (CT) scan, re-operation for hematoma recurrence, and favorable Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) score (≥ 4) at final follow-up.

Results The 362 patients (63.8% male) in our final analysis included drains inserted in 56 patients by NC and 306 patients by conventional technique. Brain contusions or new neurological deficits occurred significantly less often in the NC (1.8%) than conventional group (10.5%) (P = .041). Compared with the conventional group, the NC group had no drain misplacement (3.6% versus 0%; P = .23) and significantly fewer non-routine CT imaging related to symptoms (36.5% versus 5.4%; P < .001). Re-operation rates and favorable GOS scores were comparable between groups.

Conclusion We propose the NC technique as an easy-to-use measure for accurate drain positioning within the subdural space that may yield meaningful benefits for patients undergoing treatment for cSDH and vulnerable to complication risks.

Management of Chronic Subdural Hematoma: A Systematic Review and Component Network Meta-analysis of 455 Studies With 103 645 Cases

Neurosurgery 91:842–855, 2022

Chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH) is a common neurosurgical condition with a high risk of recurrence after treatment.

OBJECTIVE: To assess and compare the risk of recurrence, morbidity, and mortality across various treatments for CSDH.

METHODS: A systematic review and meta-analysis was performed. PubMed/MEDLINE, EMBASE, SCOPUS, and Web of Science were searched from January 01, 2000, to July 07, 2021. The primary outcome was recurrence, and secondary outcomes were morbidity and mortality. Component network meta-analyses (CNMAs) were performed for surgical and medical treatments, assessing recurrence and morbidity. Incremental risk ratios (iRRs) with 95% CIs were estimated for each component.

RESULTS: In total, 12 526 citations were identified, and 455 studies with 103 645 cases were included. Recurrence occurred in 11 491/93 525 (10.8%, 95% CI 10.2-11.5, 418 studies) cases after surgery. The use of a postoperative drain (iRR 0.53, 95% CI 0.44-0.63) and middle meningeal artery embolization (iRR 0.19, 95% CI 0.05-0.83) reduced recurrence in the surgical CNMA. In the pharmacological CNMA, corticosteroids (iRR 0.47, 95% CI 0.36- 0.61) and surgical intervention (iRR 0.11, 95% CI 0.07-0.15) were associated with lower risk. Corticosteroids were associated with increased morbidity (iRR 1.34, 95% CI 1.05-1.70). The risk of morbidity was equivalent across surgical treatments.

CONCLUSION: Recurrence after evacuation occurs in approximately 10% of cSDHs, and the various surgical interventions are approximately equivalent. Corticosteroids are associated with reduced recurrence but also increased morbidity. Drains reduce the risk of recurrence, but the position of drain (subdural vs subgaleal) did not influence recurrence. Middle meningeal artery embolization is a promising treatment warranting further evaluation in randomized trials.


Burr hole craniostomy versus minicraniotomy in chronic subdural hematoma: a comparative cohort study

Acta Neurochirurgica (2021) 163:3217–3223

Chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH) is one of the most common neurosurgical diseases. In surgical management of CSDH, there is a lack of standardized guidelines concerning surgical techniques and a lack of consensus on which technique(s) are optimal. Neurosurgical centers have shown a wide variation in surgical techniques. The purpose of this study was to compare two different surgical techniques, one burr hole craniostomy with an active subgaleal drain (BHC) and minicraniotomy with a passive subdural drain (MC).

Methods We conducted a multicenter retrospective cohort study at two neurosurgical centers in Sweden which included patients with unilateral CSDHs that received surgical treatment with either BHC or MC. The primary outcomes in comparison of the techniques were 30-day mortality, recurrence rate, and complications according to the Landriel Ibañez grading system for complications.

Results A total of 1003 patients were included in this study. The BHC subgroup included 560 patients, and the MC subgroup included 443 patients. A 30-day mortality when comparing BHC (2.3%) and MC (2.7%) was similar (p = 0.701). Comparing recurrence rate for BHC (8.9%) and MC (10.8%) showed no significant difference (p = 0.336). We found that medical complications were significantly more common in the MC group (p = 0.001). Surgical complications (type IIb) was also associated with the MC group (n = 10, p = 0.003). Out of the 10 patients with type IIb complications in the MC group, 8 had postoperative acute subdural hematomas.

Conclusions BHC was comparable to MC concerning 30-day mortality rate and recurrence rates. We did, however, find that MC was significantly associated with medical complications and serious surgical postoperative complications.