Hemicraniectomy for Supratentorial Primary Intracerebral Hemorrhage: A Retrospective, Propensity Score Matched Study

J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2019 Nov;28(11):104361. doi: 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2019.104361. Epub 2019 Sep 9.


Background and purpose: Spontaneous supratentorial intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) contributes disproportionately to stroke mortality, and randomized trials of surgical treatments for ICH have not shown benefit. Decompressive hemicraniectomy (DHC) improves functional outcome in patients with malignant middle cerebral artery ischemic stroke, but data in ICH patients is limited. We hypothesized that DHC would reduce in-hospital mortality and poor functional status (defined as modified Rankin scale ≥5) among survivors at 3 months, without increased complications.

Methods: We performed a retrospective, case-control, propensity score matched study to determine whether hemicraniectomy affected outcome in patients with spontaneous supratentorial ICH. The propensity score consisted of variables associated with outcome or predictors of hemicraniectomy. Forty-three surgical patients were matched to 43 medically managed patients on ICH location, sex, and nearest neighbor matching. Three-month functional outcomes, in-hospital mortality, and in-hospital complications were measured.

Results: In the medical management group, 72.1% of patients had poor outcome at 3 months compared with 37.2% who underwent hemicraniectomy (odds ratio 4.8, confidence interval 1.6-14). In-hospital mortality was 51.2% for medically managed patients and 16.3% for hemicraniectomy patients (odds ratio 8.5, confidence interval 2.0-36.8). There were no statistically significant differences in the occurrence of in-hospital complications.

Conclusions: In our retrospective study of selected patients with spontaneous supratentorial ICH, DHC resulted in lower rate of in-hospital mortality and better 3-month functional status compared with medically managed patients. A randomized trial is necessary to evaluate DHC as a treatment for certain patients with spontaneous supratentorial ICH.

Keywords: Intracerebral hemorrhage; functional outcomes; hemicraniectomy; mortality.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / diagnosis
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / mortality
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / physiopathology
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / surgery*
  • Decompressive Craniectomy / adverse effects
  • Decompressive Craniectomy / methods*
  • Decompressive Craniectomy / mortality
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Propensity Score
  • Recovery of Function
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anticoagulants