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World Neurosurg. 2018 Aug;116:e983-e995. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2018.05.145. Epub 2018 May 29.

Treatment Standards for Chronic Subdural Hematoma: Results from a Survey in Austrian, German, and Swiss Neurosurgical Units.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Kantonsspital Winterthur, Winterthur, Switzerland. Electronic address:
Department of Neurosurgery, Kantonsspital Winterthur, Winterthur, Switzerland.
Center of Orthopedic and Trauma Surgery, University Hospital, Cologne, Germany.
Department of Neurosurgery, Kantonsspital Winterthur, Winterthur, Switzerland; Brandenburg Medical School, Neuruppin, Germany.



Although an abundance of literature about the treatment of chronic subdural hematoma is available, it provides little evidence to clarify which treatment is most successful.


The aim of this study was to examine and compare current clinical standards between several hospitals.


Chairmen of all neurosurgical units in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland, as listed on the national neurosurgical societies' websites, were invited to participate with a personal token to access a web-based survey. A total of 159 invitations were sent and up to 5 reminder e-mails.


Eighty-four invitees (53%) completed the survey. The most common surgical intervention was a single burr hole in 52 (65%) of the responding neurosurgical units, double burr holes were performed as primary procedure in 16 centers (20%), a small osteoplastic craniotomy in 4 (5%), and a twist drill craniostomy in 8 (10%). Seventy-two (90%) would place a drain in estimated 75%-100% of cases or whenever possible/safe. Sixty-five used subdural-external drains, and 7 used subgaleal-external drains. Seventeen applied suction to the drains. Thirty-six (49%) agreed with the statement that watchful waiting was an option for the treatment of chronic subdural hematomas and 19 (23.4%) disagreed. Eighteen (23%) would consider corticosteroids and 34 (45%) tranexamic acid as part of their armamentarium for the treatment of subdural hematomas.


The results of this survey reflect the current evidence available in literature. Although the benefits of using of a drain are widely recognized, no consensus regarding the type of drain and surgical approach to the hematoma was reached.


Burr hole; Chronic subdural hematoma; Standards; Survey; Treatment

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