Chon et al. shown that postoperative midline shifting (≥5 mm), diabetes mellitus, preoperative seizure, preoperative width of hematoma (≥20 mm), and anticoagulant therapy were independent predictors of the recurrence of chronic subdural hematoma. According to internal architecture of hematoma, the rate of recurrence was significantly lower in the homogeneous and the trabecular type than the laminar and separated type 2).
The recurrence rate of chronic subdural hematoma cSDH seems to be related to the excessive neoangiogenesis in the parietal membrane, which is mediated via vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). This is found to be elevated in the hematoma fluid and is dependent on eicosanoid/prostaglandin and thromboxane synthesis via cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2).
Jack et al.found a 12% reoperation rate. CSDH septation (seen on computed tomogram scan) was found to be an independent risk factor for recurrence requiring reoperation (p=0.04). Larger post-operative subdural haematoma volume was also significantly associated with requiring a second drainage procedure (p<0.001). Independent risk factors of larger post-operative haematoma volume included septations within a CSDH (p<0.01), increased pre-operative haematoma volume (p<0.01), and a greater amount of parenchymal atrophy (p=0.04). A simple scoring system for quantifying recurrence risk was created and validated based on patient age (< or ≥80 years), haematoma volume (< or ≥160cc), and presence of septations within the subdural collection (yes or no).
Septations within CSDHs are associated with larger post-operative residual haematoma collections requiring repeat drainage. When septations are clearly visible within a CSDH, craniotomy might be more suitable as a primary procedure as it allows greater access to a septated subdural collection. The proposed scoring system combining haematoma volume, age, and presence of septations might be useful in identifying patients at higher risk for recurrence 6).
Opening the internal hematoma membrane does not alter the rate of patients requiring revision surgery and the number of patients showing a marked residual hematoma six weeks after evacuation of a CSDH 7).
In the study of Lee et al, an extended surgical approach with partial membranectomy has no advantages regarding the rate of reoperation and the outcome. As initial treatment, burr-hole drainage with irrigation of the hematoma cavity and closed-system drainage is recommended. Extended craniotomy with membranectomy is now reserved for instances of acute rebleeding with solid hematoma 8).
Surgeons should consider informing patients with diabetes mellitus that this comorbidity is associated with an increased likelihood of recurrence
Balser et al. report 11% recurrence, which included individuals who recurred as late as 3 years after initial diagnosis 12).
Close imaging follow-up is important for CSDH patients for recurrence prediction. Using quantitative CT volumetric analysis, strong evidence was provided that changes in the residual fluid volume during the 'self-resolution' period can be used as significantly radiological predictors of recurrence 13).
A structural equation model showed a significant association between increased antiinflammatory activity in hematoma fluid samples and a lower risk of recurrence, but this relationship was not statistically significant in venous blood samples. Moreover, these findings indicate that anti-inflammatory activities in the hematoma may play a role in the risk of a recurrence of CSDH 14).
Irrigation with artificial cerebrospinal fluid (ACF) decreased the rate of CSDH recurrence 15).
There is no definite operative procedure for patients with intractable chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH).
Most recurrent hematomas are managed successfully with burr hole craniostomies with postoperative closed-system drainage. Refractory hematomas may be managed with a variety of techniques, including craniotomy or subdural-peritoneal shunt placement 16).
Although many studies have reported risk factors or treatments in efforts to prevent recurrence, those have focused on single recurrence, and little cumulative data is available to analyze refractory CSDH.
Matsumoto et al. defined refractory CSDH as ≥2 recurrences, then analyzed and compared clinical factors between patients with single recurrence and those with refractory CSDH in a cohort study, to clarify whether patients with refractory CSDH experience different or more risk factors than patients with single recurrence, and whether burr-hole irrigation with closed-system drainage reduces refractory CSDH.
Seventy-five patients had at least one recurrence, with single recurrence in 62 patients and ≥2 recurrences in 13 patients. In comparing clinical characteristics, patients with refractory CSDH were significantly younger (P=0.04) and showed shorter interval to first recurrence (P<0.001). Organized CSDH was also significantly associated with refractory CSDH (P=0.02). Multivariate logistic regression analysis identified first recurrence interval <1 month (OR 6.66, P<0.001) and age <71 years (OR 4.16, P<0.001) as independent risk factors for refractory CSDH. On the other hand, burr-hole irrigation with closed-system drainage did not reduce refractory CSDH.
When patients with risk factors for refractory CSDH experience recurrence, alternative surgical procedures may be considered as the second surgery, because burr-hole irrigation with closed-system drainage did not reduce refractory CSDH 17).
Subdural-peritoneal shunt 21).
Embolization of the MMA is effective for refractory CSDH or CSDH patients with a risk of recurrence, and is considered an effective therapeutic method to stop hematoma enlargement and promote resolution 22) 23) 24) 25) 26) 27).
A pilot study indicated that perioperative middle meningeal artery (MMA) embolization could be offered as the least invasive and most effectual means of treatment for resistant patients of CSDHs with 1 or more recurrences 28).
Chihara et al. have treated three cases of CSDH with MMA embolization to date, but there was a postoperative recurrence in one patient, which required a craniotomy for hematoma removal and capsulectomy. MMA embolization blocks the blood supply from the dura to the hematoma outer membrane in order to prevent recurrences of refractory CSDH. Histopathologic examination of the outer membrane of the hematoma excised during craniotomy showed foreign-body giant cells and neovascular proliferation associated with embolization. Because part of the hematoma was organized in this case, the CSDH did not resolve when the MMA was occluded, and the development of new collateral pathways in the hematoma outer membrane probably contributed to the recurrence. Therefore, in CSDH with some organized hematoma, MMA embolization may not be effective. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) should be performed in these patients before embolization 29).
Chronic subdural hematomas (cSDHs) have shown an increasing incidence in an ageing population over the last 20 years, while unacceptable recurrence rates of up to 30 % persist. The chronic subdural hematoma recurrence rate seems to be related to the excessive neoangiogenesis in the parietal membrane, which is mediated via vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). This is found to be elevated in the haematoma fluid and is dependent on eicosanoid/prostaglandin and thromboxane synthesis via cyclooxygenase-2 (COX 2). With this investigator-initiated trial (IIT) it was thought to diminish the recurrence rate of operated-on cSDHs by administering a selective COX-2 inhibitor (Celecoxib) over 4 weeks' time postoperatively in comparison to a control group.
The thesis of risk reduction of cSDH recurrence in COX-2-inhibited patients was to be determined in a prospective, randomised, two-armed, open phase-II/III study with inclusion of 180 patients over a 2-year time period in four German university hospitals. The treated- and untreated-patient data were to be analysed by Fisher's exact test (significance level of alpha, 0.05 [two-sided]).
After screening of 246 patients from January 2009 to April 2010, the study had to be terminated prematurely as only 23 patients (9.3 %) could be enrolled because of on-going non-steroid anti-rheumatic (NSAR) drug treatment or contraindication to Celecoxib medication. In the study population, 13 patients were treated in the control group (six women, seven men; average age 66.8 years; one adverse event (AE)/serious adverse event (SAE) needing one re-operation because of progressive cSDH (7.7 %); ten patients were treated in the treatment group (one woman, nine men; average age 64.7 years; five AEs/SAEs needing two re-operations because of one progressive cSDH and one wound infection [20 %]). Significance levels are obsolete because of insufficient patient numbers.
The theoretical advantage of COX-2 inhibition in the recurrent cSDH could not be transferred into the treatment of German cSDH patients as 66.6 % of the patients showed strict contraindications for Celecoxib. Furthermore, 55 % of the patients were already treated with some kind of COX-2 inhibition and, nevertheless, developed cSDH. Thus, although conceptually appealing, an anti-angiogenic therapy with COX-2 inhibitors for cSDH could not be realised in this patient population due to the high prevalence of comorbidities excluding the administration of COX2 inhibitors 30).
Recurrence rates after chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH) evacuation with any of actual techniques twist drill craniostomy (TDC), burr hole craniostomy, craniotomy range from 5% to 30%. Use of drain has improved recurrence rates when used with burr-hole craniostomy. Now, we analyze predictors of recurrence of TDC with drain.
Three hundred twelve consecutive patients with CSDH have been studied in a retrospective study. Operative technique in all patients consisted in TDC with drain. Data recorded included any associated comorbidity. Radiologic measures of the CSDH before and after the procedure were studied. Clinical evaluation included Modified Rankin Scale, Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), and neurological deficits. Two groups were compared: recurrence group and nonrecurrence group. Follow-up was for at least 1 year.
Twelve percent experienced recurrence. Preoperative CSDH width, preoperative midline shift, postoperative midline width, postoperative CSDH width, and residual CSDH 1 month later were significantly associated with CSDH recurrence. The logistic regression model for the multivariate analysis revealed that postoperative midline shift and postoperative neurological deficit were significantly associated with CSDH recurrence. The duration of treatment with dexamethasone was found not to be related with recurrence. Mortality before hospital discharge was 1%. Hospital stay was 2.5 days.
TDC with drain has similar results in recurrence rates, morbidity, mortality, and outcome as other techniques as burr-hole craniostomy with drain. Preoperative and postoperative hematoma width and midline shift are independent predictors of recurrence. Brain re-expansion and time of drain maintenance are important factors related with recurrence of CSDH. Future CSDH reservoirs must avoid negative pressure and sudden pressure changes inside the whole closed drain system 31).
Mewada et al. report a case with right hemiparesis and aphasia 1 month after a fall from a bicycle. Computed tomography scan of the head showed left chronic subdural hematoma, which was evacuated by burr-hole drainage. The postoperative course was complicated by reaccumulation within short period of time. On superselective digital subtraction angiography of MMA, iatrogenic dAVF was found on left side. We embolized successfully it using n-butyl cyanoacrylate after a third irrigation. No reaccumulation found in the postoperative period or at last follow-up. They proposed a treatment protocol based on the own experience and literature review.
Refractory chronic subdural hematoma with reaccumulation within a short interval should be subjected to digital subtraction angiography of the MMA. Embolization of ipsilateral MMA is safe, effective, and a useful option for the treatment of iatrogenic dAVF and resolution of hematoma 32).
An 85-year-old male presented with left CSDH, which recurred five times. The hematoma was irrigated and drained through a left frontal burr hole during the first to third surgery and through a left parietal burr hole during the fourth and fifth surgery. The hematoma had no septation and was well-evacuated during each surgery. Antiplatelet therapy for preventing ischemic heart disease was stopped after the second surgery, the hematoma cavity was irrigated with artificial cerebrospinal fluid at the third surgery, and the direction of the drainage tube was changed to reduce the postoperative subdural air collection at the fourth surgery. However, none of these interventions was effective. He was successfully treated by fibrin glue injection into the hematoma cavity after the fifth surgery.
This procedure may be effective for refractory CSDH in elderly patients 33).
A 67-year-old man with dural arteriovenous fistula (AVF) presenting as a non-traumatic chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH). This previously healthy patient was hospitalized due to progressive headache with subacute onset. He underwent burr-hole surgery twice for evacuating the left CSDH that was thickest at the posterior temporal area. The operative procedure and finding was not extraordinary, but subdural hematoma slowly progressed for days following the revision surgery. After investigation by super-selective external carotid angiography, a dural AVF found near the transverse-sigmoid sinus was diagnosed. Dural AVF was completely occluded with trans-arterial injecting polyvinyl alchol particles into the petrosquamosal branch of the middle meningeal artery. The patient showed a good neurological outcome with no additional intervention. Brain surgeons have to consider the possibility of dural AVF and perform cerebral angiogram if necessary when they manage the cases that have a spontaneously occurred and repeatedly recurring CSDH 34).
Spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH) is reported to cause chronic subdural hematoma (SDH), however diagnosis of SIH in patients with SDH is not always easy.
Takahashi et al. report a case of chronic SDH refractory to repeated drainage, which was attributed to SIH. A forty-five-year-old man who had been suffering from orthostatic headache for one month was admitted to our hospital presenting with unconsciousness and hemiparesis. CT on admission revealed a chronic subdural hematoma, which was successfully treated once with subdural drainage. However, the patient fell into unconscious again with recurrence of the hematoma within several days. After two more sessions of drainage, SIH due to cerebrospinal fluid leakage was diagnosed with spinal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and radionuclide cisternography. Spinal MRI demonstrated abnormal fluid accumulation in the thoracic epidural space, and the radionuclide cisternogram showed early excretion of tracer into urine as well as absence of intracranial tracer filling. After treatment with epidural blood patching, the hematoma rapidly disappeared and he was discharged without symptoms. In the treatment of chronic SDH, especially in young to middle aged patient without preceding trauma or hematological disorders, physicians should pay attention to underlying SIH to avoid multiple surgery. MRI of the spine as well as radionuclide cisternography is useful in evaluation of this condition 35).