There is uncertainty as to the optimal initial management of patients with traumatic acute subdural hematoma, leading to regional variation in surgical policy. This can be exploited to compare the effect of various management strategies and determine best practices. This article reports such a comparative effectiveness analysis of a retrospective observational cohort of traumatic acute subdural hematoma patients in two geographically distinct neurosurgical departments chosen for their – a-priori defined – diverging treatment preferences. Region A favored a strategy focused on surgical hematoma evacuation, whereas region B employed a more conservative approach, performing primary surgery less often. Region was used as a proxy for preferred treatment strategy to compare outcomes between groups, adjusted for potential confounders using multivariable logistic regression with imputation of missing data. In total, 190 patients were included: 108 from region A and 82 from region B. There were 104 males (54.7%). Matching current epidemiological developments, the median age was relatively high at 68 years (interquartile range [IQR], 54–76). Baseline characteristics were comparable between regions. Primary evacuation was performed in 84% of patients in region A and in 65% of patients in region B (p < 0.01). Mortality was lower in region A (37% vs. 45%, p = 0.29), as was unfavorable outcome (53% vs. 62%, p = 0.23). The strategy favoring surgical evacuation was associated with significantly lower odds of mortality (odds ratio [OR]: 0.43; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.21–0.88) and unfavorable outcome (OR: 0.53; 95% CI: 0.27–1.02) 3–9 months post-injury. Therefore, in the aging population of patients with acute subdural hematoma, a treatment strategy favoring emergency hematoma evacuation might be associated with lower odds of mortality and unfavorable outcome.

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Journal Journal of Neurotrauma
Essen, T.A., Dijkman, M.D., Cnossen, M.C, Moudrous, W., Ardon, H., Schoonman, GG, … de Ruiter, G.C.W. (2018). Comparative Effectiveness of Surgery for Traumatic Acute Subdural Hematoma in an Aging Population. Journal of Neurotrauma. doi:10.1089/neu.2018.5869