Back to overview

Effect of Decompressive Craniectomy on Perihematomal Edema in Patients with Intracerebral Hemorrhage.

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Fung Christian, Murek Michael, Klinger-Gratz Pascal P, Fiechter Michael, Z'Graggen Werner J, Gautschi Oliver P, El-Koussy Marwan, Gralla Jan, Schaller Karl, Zbinden Martin, Arnold Marcel, Fischer Urs, Mattle Heinrich P, Raabe Andreas, Beck Jürgen,
Project Swiss study of initial decompressive craniectomy versus best medical treatment of spontaneous supratentorial intracerebral hemorrhage (switch): a randomized controlled trail
Show all

Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal PloS one
Volume (Issue) 11(2)
Page(s) 0149169 - 0149169
Title of proceedings PloS one
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0149169


Perihematomal edema contributes to secondary brain injury in the course of intracerebral hemorrhage. The effect of decompressive surgery on perihematomal edema after intracerebral hemorrhage is unknown. This study analyzed the course of PHE in patients who were or were not treated with decompressive craniectomy. More than 100 computed tomography images from our published cohort of 25 patients were evaluated retrospectively at two university hospitals in Switzerland. Computed tomography scans covered the time from admission until day 100. Eleven patients were treated by decompressive craniectomy and 14 were treated conservatively. Absolute edema and hematoma volumes were assessed using 3-dimensional volumetric measurements. Relative edema volumes were calculated based on maximal hematoma volume. Absolute perihematomal edema increased from 42.9 ml to 125.6 ml (192.8%) after 21 days in the decompressive craniectomy group, versus 50.4 ml to 67.2 ml (33.3%) in the control group (Δ at day 21 = 58.4 ml, p = 0.031). Peak edema developed on days 25 and 35 in patients with decompressive craniectomy and controls respectively, and it took about 60 days for the edema to decline to baseline in both groups. Eight patients (73%) in the decompressive craniectomy group and 6 patients (43%) in the control group had a good outcome (modified Rankin Scale score 0 to 4) at 6 months (P = 0.23). Decompressive craniectomy is associated with a significant increase in perihematomal edema compared to patients who have been treated conservatively. Perihematomal edema itself lasts about 60 days if it is not treated, but decompressive craniectomy ameliorates the mass effect exerted by the intracerebral hemorrhage plus the perihematomal edema, as reflected by the reduced midline shift.