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Acta Neurol Belg. 2013 Mar;113(1):55-9. doi: 10.1007/s13760-012-0130-1. Epub 2012 Sep 14.

Ambivalence among neurologists and neurosurgeons on the treatment of chronic subdural hematoma: a national survey.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Erasmus MC, 's Gravendijkwal 230, Office Hs-114, P.O. Box 2040, 3000 CA, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


No class I evidence exists about the optimal treatment of chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH). The aim of this study was to evaluate current practice of CSDH patients with different neurological grades, and probable ambivalence towards various treatment paradigms, especially primary treatment with high-dose corticosteroids, among vascular neurologists and neurosurgeons. A questionnaire survey containing 4 questions, 1 consisting of cases, was sent to every vascular neurologist (n = 83) and neurosurgical centre (n = 15) in the Netherlands. The various treatment options were related to the treating physician, geographical distribution, both in general and for individual case. Sixty-two percent of surveys were returned. The proportion of patients primarily treated with corticosteroids was 17.5 % in 2009 and 20.5 % in 2010. Surgery by either burr holes or craniotomy was favoured by 61.1 % as primary treatment, and conservative treatment with corticosteroids by 22.4 %. Case studies revealed that surgery was preferred in case of severe neurological symptoms, whereas wait-and-see policy was preferred in case of mild symptoms without midline shift, of which 28 % would administer corticosteroids. Variety in answers was obtained in less pronounced cases. In the Netherlands, neurologists and neurosurgeons appear to favour surgery in CSDH patients as primary treatment, especially in severe cases. An ambivalent approach towards treatment protocols was shown, especially in patients with mild symptoms, regardless of hematoma size. A regimen of high-dose corticosteroids only, is preferred by about a quarter and predominantly in milder cases, and might depend on geographical distribution. These results suggest the need for a well-designed randomized trial.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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