When a patient presents to the neurosurgeon with a traumatic intracerebral hematoma and has not deteriorated or developed new neurological deficit since the injury, the decision to remove the hematoma may be difficult. Of 244 patients with traumatic intracerebral hematomas, 85 were selected for intracranial pressure monitoring to assist in deciding whether surgical evacuation was indicated. None had deteriorated in conscious level or developed new neurological deficit since injury. Fifty-five patients (65%) demonstrated high intracranial pressure and underwent craniotomy. In 30 patients, intracranial pressure remained under 30 mm Hg, and their hematomas were not initially removed. Five of these 30 patients suddenly deteriorated or died 6 to 11 days after injury, with features of high intracranial pressure clinically or at postmortem. Intracranial pressure monitoring therefore failed to predict a late rise in intracranial pressure in 16.6% of those with low intracranial pressure initially. An analysis of computed tomography scanning and clinical features was therefore carried out to search for better predictors of the need for surgery. Our data suggest that basal cistern status, coma score, and the severity of edema surrounding the intracerebral hematoma should be used, in addition to intracranial pressure monitoring, to improve management of patients with traumatic intracerebral hematoma.
- Basal cistern
- Computed tomography scan
- head injury
- Intracranial pressure monitoring
- Traumatic intracerebral hematoma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology