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Turk Neurosurg. 2013;23(4):458-63. doi: 10.5137/1019-5149.JTN.7269-12.0.

Routine postoperative CT-scans after burr hole trepanation for chronic subdural hematoma - better before or after drainage removal?

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  • 1University Hospital Muenster, Department of Neurosurgery, Muenster, Germany.

Abstract

AIM:

To evaluate timing of scheduled CT-scans after burr hole trepanation for chronic subdural hematoma (cSDH).

MATERIAL AND METHODS:

131 patients with primary cSDH were included. Scheduled CT-scans were performed after burr hole trepanation and placement of a subdural drain. The influence of CT-scanning with or without indwelling drain was analysed regarding subsequent surgery and CT-scans, duration of hospitalization, short- and middle-term follow up by single factor analyses. Subgroup analyses were performed for patients receiving anticoagulant drugs.

RESULTS:

Median age was 74 years. Routine CT-scans with indwelling drainage were not shown to be beneficial regarding subsequent burr hole trepanations (p=0.243), craniotomies (p=1.000) and outcome at discharge (p=0.297). Mean duration of hospitalization (11 vs. 8 days, p=0.013) was significantly longer and number of subsequent CT-scans was higher when CT scan was performed with indwelling drain (2.3 vs. 1.4, p=0.001). In middle-term follow-up, beneficial effects of CT-scanning with inlaying drainage could neither be shown. Moreover, advantageous effects of CT-scans with indwelling drains could neither be shown for patients receiving anticoagulant drugs.

CONCLUSION:

Scheduled postoperative cranial imaging with indwelling drains was not shown to be beneficial and misses information of intracranial damage inflicted by removal of drains. We thus recommend CT-scanning after drainage removal.

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