Objective: The treatment of large putaminal hematomas is predominantly medical and the role of surgery is debated. Decompressive hemicraniectomy in large hemispheric infarctions has been reported to lower mortality and improve outcomes. Decompressive hemicraniectomy may also have a role in putaminal hematomas.
Methods: In all, 23 patients with putaminal hematoma who underwent decompressive craniectomy in the last 4 years were analyzed. Parameters investigated included clinical presentations, radiologic profile, time interval from ictus to surgery, and Glasgow outcome score at 1 month.
Results: There were 13 men and 10 women with ages ranging from 31 to 68 years. All of them presented with neurologic deficits. Seven patients had a Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score of 3 to 8, 12 had a GCS score of 9 to 12, and GCS score was above 13 in 4. Seventeen patients had known hypertension. Computed tomography scan was done in all. The hematoma was less than 3 cm in 5 cases, 3 to 5 cm in 11, and larger than 5 cm in 7; and was 30 mL or less in 3, 30 to 60 mL in 13, and more than 60 mL in 7. All patients underwent hemicraniectomy on the side of the lesion and dura was left open. At 3 months, 13 patients had a good outcome and 10 had a poor outcome (including 3 deaths).
Conclusions: Decompressive hemicraniectomy can be a useful alternative surgical procedure in moderate to large putaminal hematomas.