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Neurology. 2001 May 22;56(10):1294-9.

Rebleeding leads to poor outcome in ultra-early craniotomy for intracerebral hemorrhage.

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Stroke Program, Department of Neurology, University of Texas-Houston Medical School, 77030, USA.



A modest benefit was previously demonstrated for hematoma evacuation within 12 hours of intracerebral hemorrhage onset. Perhaps surgery within 4 hours would further improve outcome.


Adult patients with spontaneous supratentorial intracerebral hemorrhage were prospectively enrolled. Craniotomy and clot evacuation were commenced within 4 hours of symptom onset in all cases. Mortality and functional outcome were assessed at 6 months. This group of patients was compared with patients treated within 12 hours of symptom onset using the same surgical and medical protocols.


The study was stopped after a planned interim analysis of 11 patients in the 4-hour surgery arm. Median time to surgery was 180 minutes; median hematoma volume was 40 mL; median baseline NIH Stroke Scale score was 19 and Glasgow Coma Scale score was 12. Six-month mortality was 36% and median Barthel score was 75 in survivors. Postoperative rebleeding occurred in four patients, three of whom died. A relationship between postoperative rebleeding and mortality was apparent (p = 0.03). Rebleeding occurred in 40% of the patients treated within 4 hours, compared with 12% of the patients treated within 12 hours (p = 0.11). There was a clear correlation between improved outcome and smaller postsurgical hematoma volume (p = 0.04).


Surgical hematoma evacuation within 4 hours of symptom onset is complicated by rebleeding, indicating difficulty with hemostasis. Maximum removal of blood remains a predictor of good outcome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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