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Surgery in intracerebral hemorrhage - The uncertainty continues

Lookup NU author(s): Helen Fernandes, Dr Barbara Gregson, Dr Shahid Siddique, Emeritus Professor David Mendelow


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Background and Purpose-Primary intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) accounts for 10% to 20% of stroke but carries the highest rates of mortality and morbidity of all stroke subtypes. Current treatment, however, is varied and haphazard. The most recent Cochrane systematic review refers to 4 prospective, randomized controlled trials. We present a further meta-analysis to include 3 new trials. In addition, we review the trials of Chen et al and McKissock et al and discuss aspects of their quality that, we believe, prevent their inclusion in modern day meta-analysis. Methods-Literature databases and articles were searched from 1966 to October 1999. Using the end points of death and dependency, the results of the 7 identified randomized trials were expressed as odds ratios. All available data were then analyzed with meta-analysis techniques. Analysis of relevant subsets of trials was also carried out. Results-Meta-analysis of all 7 trials shows a trend toward a higher chance of death and dependency after surgery (OR 1.20; 95% CI 0.83 to 1.74). Meta-analysis was also carried out after exclusion of the Chen and McKissock trials for reasons discussed in the text. This meta-analysis suggests a benefit from surgery, with a reduction in the chances of death and dependency after surgical treatment by a factor of 0.63 (OR 0.63; 95% CI 0.35 to 1.14). Conclusions-When meta-analysis is restricted to modern-day, post-CT, well-constructed, balanced trials, a trend for surgery to reduce the chances of death and dependency is found. Perhaps, then, in the modern era of CT, good neuroanesthesia, intensive care, and the operating microscope, surgery has a role in the treatment of supratentorial intracerebral hemorrhage. The results of a large, multicenter, randomized controlled trial are urgently needed, and the ongoing International Surgical Trial of Intracerebral Hemorrhage should fulfill this objective.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Mendelow AD; Fernandes HM; Gregson B; Siddique S

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Stroke

Year: 2000

Volume: 31

Issue: 10

Pages: 2511-2516

ISSN (print): 0039-2499

ISSN (electronic): 1524-4628


DOI: 10.1161/01.STR.31.10.2511