Background: The expeditious surgical evacuation of acute epidural hematoma (AEDH) is an attainable gold standard and is often expected to have a good clinical outcome for patients with surgical indications. However, controversy exists on the optimal surgical options for AEDH, especially for patients with brain herniation. Neurosurgeons are confronted with the decision to evacuate the hematoma with decompressive craniectomy (DC) or craniotomy.
Methods/design: Patients of both sexes, age between 18 and 65 years, who presented to the emergency room with a clinical and radiological diagnosis of AEDH with herniation, were assessed against the inclusion and exclusion criteria to be enrolled in the study. Clinical and radiological information, including diagnosis of AEDH, treatment procedures, and follow-up data at 1, 3, and 6 months after injury, was collected from 120 eligible patients in 51 centers. The patients were randomized into groups of DC versus craniotomy in a 1:1 ratio. The primary outcome was the Glasgow Outcome Score-Extended (GOSE) at 6 months post-injury. Secondary outcomes included incidence of postoperative cerebral infarction, incidence of additional craniocerebral surgery, and other evaluation indicators within 6 months post-injury.
Discussion: This study is expected to support neurosurgeons in their decision to evacuate the epidural hematoma with or without a DC, especially in patients with brain herniation, and provide additional evidence to improve the knowledge in clinical practice.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04261673 . Registered on 04 February 2020.
Keywords: Acute epidural hematoma (AEDH); Craniotomy; Decompressive craniectomy (DC); Herniation; Randomized controlled trial (RCT); Surgery.