Failure of surgery to improve outcome in hypertensive putaminal hemorrhage. A prospective randomized trial

Arch Neurol. 1990 Oct;47(10):1103-6. doi: 10.1001/archneur.1990.00530100071015.


Hypertensive putaminal hemorrhage remains a major cause of hemorrhagic stroke carrying extremely high morbidity. Considerable controversy remains regarding the optimal form of therapy. Between 1983 and 1989 we conducted a prospective randomized trial with three treatment strategies: best medical management, best medical management plus intracranial pressure monitoring, and surgical evacuation. Only patients with significant deficit harboring a putaminal hematoma at least 3.0 cm in diameter were entered. The study was interrupted after 21 patients had been studied (9, best medical management; 4, intracranial pressure monitoring; and 8, surgical evacuation). No differences were found among groups for age, admission blood pressure, and time interval between onset of symptoms and arrival at hospital. None of the subjects were capable of returning to prestroke activity. Fifteen (71%) died or remained vegetative at 6 months, and only 4 (19%) were capable of independent life at home. Of the 9 patients in the best medical management arm, 7 were dead or vegetative. In the surgical group, 4 patients died and only 2 were capable of independent life. These results suggest that current medical and neurosurgical therapies remain ineffective in preventing the devastating neurologic consequences of hypertensive putaminal hemorrhage.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / surgery*
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications*
  • Intracranial Pressure
  • Male
  • Microsurgery
  • Middle Aged
  • Monitoring, Physiologic
  • Prospective Studies
  • Putamen / blood supply*