In patients with severe middle cerebral artery (MCA), intracranial atherosclerotic disease (ICAD), the mechanism of stroke is multifactorial, but hemodynamic insufficiency plays a significant role. This finding is important in selecting a subgroup of patients who may benefit from revascularization 1).
Surgical treatment with ipsilateral decompressive hemicraniectomy (DHC) has been shown to dramatically improve survival rates. DHC currently lacks established inclusion criteria and additional research is needed to assess the impact of prognostic factors on functional outcome.
The mortality rate of patients with brain edema after malignant middle cerebral artery (MCA) infarction approaches 80 % without surgical intervention.
Li et al., searched English and Chinese databases for randomized controlled trials or observational studies published before August 2016. Outcomes included good functional outcome (GFO), mortality, and National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale and Barthel index scores.
This meta-analysis included 25 studies (1727 patients). There were statistically significant differences between decompressive hemicraniectomy (DHC) and conventional treatment (CT) groups in terms of GFO (P < 0.0001), mortality (P < 0.00001), and National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale and Barthel index scores (P < 0.0001) at different follow-up points. Significant differences were observed between the groups in survival with moderately severe disability (P < 0.00001); no differences were observed in survival with severe disability. In the subgroup analysis, in the DHC group, GFO was less in patients >60 years old (9.65%) versus ≤60 years old (38.94%); more patients >60 years old had moderately severe or severe disability (55.27%) compared with patients ≤60 years old (44.21%).
DHC could significantly improve GFO and reduces mortality of patients of all ages with malignant MCA infarction compared with CT, without increasing the number of patients surviving with severe disability. However, patients in the DHC group more frequently had moderately severe disability. Patients >60 years old with malignant MCA infarction had a higher risk of surviving with moderately severe or severe disability and less GFO 2).