Craniectomy in severe, life-threatening encephalitis: a report on outcome and long-term prognosis of four cases

Intensive Care Med. 2001 Aug;27(8):1426-8. doi: 10.1007/s001340101027.


Objective: To report the feasibility of craniectomy with duraplasty in four patients with life-threatening encephalitis and, in particular, their long-term outcome.

Design: Report of four cases, analysis of the acute clinical course and neurological long-term sequelae.

Results: Generous craniectomy with duraplasty was performed in four patients with life-threatening encephalitis leading to decortication and decerebration. This treatment approach reduced intracranial pressure. The long-term sequelae (1.5-8 years after craniectomy) confirmed its appropriateness, having led to full neurological (cerebral) function, resocialization, and reintegration into their professional life in all four patients.

Conclusion: Craniectomy with dural augmentation is a treatment approach in cases of severe space-occupying encephalitis, not only saving the patient's life but also leading to favorable long-term outcome.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brain Edema / etiology
  • Brain Edema / surgery*
  • Craniotomy*
  • Decompression, Surgical / methods*
  • Encephalitis, Viral / complications
  • Encephalitis, Viral / surgery*
  • Female
  • Herpesviridae Infections / complications
  • Herpesviridae Infections / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Leukoencephalitis, Acute Hemorrhagic / complications
  • Leukoencephalitis, Acute Hemorrhagic / surgery*
  • Male