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International variations in surgical practice for spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Barbara Gregson, Emeritus Professor David Mendelow


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Background and Purpose - Spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage is a major cause of death and disability, yet there is no convincing evidence of the benefit of any medical treatment and the role of surgery remains controversial. The international randomized Surgical Trial in Intracerebral Hemorrhage ( STICH) provided an opportunity to assess the role of surgery within the centers taking part. Methods - Screening logs were completed to record details of all patients assessed by the department, whether they were included in the trial, the reasons if they were not included, and whether they underwent surgery. Results - Logs were returned by 42 centers and cover 704 months. They include details on 1578 patients with characteristics comparable to STICH inclusion criteria. Neurosurgeons were more likely to express clinical certainty about treatment for older patients, patients with a higher Glasgow Coma Score scale, and patients in whom the hematoma was located on the right or in the basal ganglia or thalamus. Patients for whom the neurosurgeon was certain about treatment were more likely to have the hematoma removed if they were younger ( 62 versus 68 years of age), had a lower Glasgow Coma Scale score ( 10 versus 13), and had a lobar hematoma (49% versus 40%). The operation rate varied between 74% in Lithuania and 2% in Hungary. Conclusions - The difference in operation rates could not be explained by differences in patient characteristics alone. This finding demonstrates the need for further evidence to ensure that treatment for intracerebral hemorrhage is not governed by local custom.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gregson BA, Mendelow AD, STICH Investigators

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Stroke

Year: 2003

Volume: 34

Issue: 11

Pages: 2593-2597

ISSN (print): 0039-2499

ISSN (electronic): 1524-4628

Publisher: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins


DOI: 10.1161/01.STR.0000097491.82104.F3


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