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Analysis of risk factors for chronic subdural haematoma recurrence after burr hole surgery: Optimal management of patients on antiplatelet therapy

Atsushi Okano , Soichi Oya , Naoaki Fujisawa , Tsukasa Tsuchiya , Masahiro Indo , Takumi Nakamura , Han Soo Chang & Toru Matsui

British Journal of Neurosurgery 28:2:204-208, 2014 (doi:10.3109/02688697.2013.829563)


Objective. Not much is known about surgical management of patients with chronic subdural haematoma (CSDH) treated with antiplatelet or anticoagulant therapy. The aims of this study were to review the surgical outcomes of patients with CSDH and assess the risks of antiplatelet in their surgical management.

Methods. We retrospectively analysed 448 consecutive patients with CSDH treated by one burr hole surgery at our institution. Among them, 58 patients had been on antiplatelet therapy. We discontinued the antiplatelet agents before surgery for all 58 patients. For 51 of these 58 patients (87.9%), early surgery was performed within 0–2 days from admission. We analysed the association between recurrence and patient characteristics, including history of antiplatelet or anticoagulant therapy; age (< 70 years or ≥ 70 years); side; history of angiotensin receptor II blocker, angiotensin converting enzyme blocker, or statin therapy; and previous medical history of head trauma, infarction, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, haemodialysis, seizure, cancer, or liver cirrhosis.

Results. Recurrence occurred in 40 patients (8.9%), which was one of the lowest rates in the literature. Univariate analysis showed that only the presence of bilateral haematomas was associated with increased recurrence rate while antiplatelet or anticoagulant therapy did not significantly increase recurrence risk. Also, the recurrence rate from early surgery (0–2 days from drug cessation) for patients on antiplatelet therapy was not significantly higher than that from elective surgery (5 days or more after drug cessation). However, multivariate analysis revealed that previous history of cerebral infarction was an independent risk factor for CSDH recurrence.

Conclusions. Our overall data support the safety of early surgery for patients on the preoperative antiplatelet therapy without drug cessation or platelet infusion. Patients with a previous history of infarction may need to be closely followed regardless of antiplatelet or anticoagulant therapy.


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