Objective: The decision to adopt a conservative or surgical modality for a relatively small volume of spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (SICH) is difficult and often controversial, especially when consciousness is tolerable. The authors examined the results of stereotactic-guided evacuation of SICH for relatively small volumes with respect to functional outcome.
Methods: This prospective study was performed on 387 patients with SICH who underwent stereotactic-guided evacuation (n = 204, group A) or conservative treatment (n = 183, group B) during the past 8 years. The primary end-point was recovery of functional status, which was estimated using the Modified Barthel Index (MBI) and the modified Rankin Scale (mRS).
Results: All patients had a Glasgow coma scale (GCS) score of >/= 13 and unilateral hemiparesis of less than motor power grade 3. Group demographic characteristics and initial neurological statuses were similar. In all cases, the volume of SICH involved was < 30 cm(3) and location was limited to basal ganglia and thalamus. At 6-month follow-ups, MBI was 90.9 in group A and 62.4 in group B (p < 0.05), and MRS was 1.2 in group A and 3.0 in group B (p < 0.05). Better motor function and stereotactic-guided evacuation had a significant effect on a functional recovery in regression analyses.
Conclusion: Even in patients with a small volume of SICH, stereotactic-guided evacuation improved functional recovery in activities in daily life than conservative treatment did.
Keywords: Cerebral hemorrhage; Neurosurgery; Recovery of function; Stereotaxy; Treatment efficacy.