Nationwide trends in middle meningeal artery embolization for treatment of chronic subdural hematoma: A population-based analysis of utilization and short-term outcomes

J Clin Neurosci. 2021 Dec:94:70-75. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2021.10.001. Epub 2021 Oct 11.


Middle meningeal artery (MMA) embolization represents a promising novel treatment modality for chronic subdural hematoma (cSDH), yet utilization and efficacy data are limited. This study evaluates the utilization and short-term outcomes of MMA embolization for cSDH treatment in a large national inpatient registry. cSDH patients treated with MMA embolization and/or surgical evacuation (craniotomy/burr hole drainage) were identified using the National Inpatient Sample (NIS) during 2012-2018 period. Temporal trends, complications, and discharge disposition were evaluated, and propensity score matching was implemented for adjusted comparisons and to mitigate confounding by indication. Among 60,045 cSDH patients identified, 390 (0.6%) underwent MMA embolization. Embolized patients presented more with high acute illness severity subclasses in comparison with surgically evacuated patients (53% vs. 34%, p = 0.004) yet did not experience any procedure-related hemorrhagic or ischemic complications. Although discharge disposition did not differ from those surgically managed, embolized patients had longer mean hospital stays (13 vs. 8 days, p = 0.023) and accrued greater hospital charges (p < 0.001). Following propensity adjustment, length of stay and charges remained greater in the embolization cohort, yet rates of routine discharge increased appreciably (40% vs. 30%, p = 0.141) relative to surgically treated cSDH patients. The utilization of embolization increased exponentially after 2015, reaching an apex in 2018 (3.7% of treated cSDH). This population-based national assessment demonstrates exponential increases in utilization of MMA embolization for cSDH treatment in recent years. Embolized patients had uncomplicated clinical courses and similar discharge dispositions as surgical evacuation patients. Large-scale prospective trials are warranted to further assess the efficacy of this modality.

Keywords: Burr hole(s) drainage; Chronic subdural hemorrhage; Complication(s); Craniotomy; Intervention; Middle meningeal artery embolization.

MeSH terms

  • Embolization, Therapeutic*
  • Hematoma, Subdural, Chronic* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Meningeal Arteries / diagnostic imaging
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome