OBJECTIVE: Chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH) is one of the most common types of intracranial hemorrhage, especially in the elderly, with a significant recurrence rate ranging from 9.2 to 26.5%. The role of postoperative patient posture in the recurrence of CSDH has not been studied sufficiently. METHODS: A total of 84 consecutive patients with unilateral traumatic CSDH without known risk factors of CSDH recurrence were prospectively enrolled in this study. All patients underwent burr-hole surgery with closed system drainage and were then allocated randomly to either of two groups: Group A (n = 42) patients were kept in a supine position for 3 days after the operation, whereas Group B (n = 42) patients assumed a sitting position in bed, with the head of the bed elevated to 30 to 40 degrees, for the same duration as Group A. After 3 days, there was no restriction in patients' activities in both groups. All patients were followed-up for at least 3 months after surgery. RESULTS: The groups were not significantly different in age, sex, presence of brain atrophy or hydrocephalus, preoperative hematoma width, and postsurgery subdural space width. The recurrence rate in Groups A and B were 2.3 and 19.0% (necessitating repeat surgery in one patient), respectively (P = 0.02). Other complications in Groups A and B, respectively, were atelectasis (10 versus seven; P = 0.41), pneumonia (five versus four; P = 0.72), decubitus ulcer (three versus two; P = 0.64), and deep vein thrombosis (zero versus one; P = 0.31). CONCLUSION: Assuming an upright posture soon after burr-hole surgery was associated with a significantly increased incidence of CSDH recurrence but not with a significant change in other position-related postsurgical complications. According to this result, it is not recommended that elderly patients assume an upright posture soon after burr-hole surgery to prevent postoperative atelectasis and dementia, as these might significantly increase the risk of CSDH recurrence.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||4|
|State||Published - Oct 2007|
- Chronic subdural hematoma