Inversed probability case-control analysis of operative burr hole evacuation versus subdural evacuating port system for chronic subdural hematomas: Clinical and economic outcomes

Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2022 Sep;220:107356. doi: 10.1016/j.clineuro.2022.107356. Epub 2022 Jul 2.


Introduction: There are multiple treatments for a chronic subdural hematoma, a significant cause of neurosurgical morbidity that cost the healthcare system $5B in 2007, but few generalizable prospective studies. The purpose of this study was to examine outcomes of bedside Subdural Evacuation Port System (SEPS) placement as compared to operating room burr hole evacuation (BHE) to acquire data to support a randomized trial.

Methods: All procedures were performed in a single institution between 2011 and 2019. Patients were included if > 18 years of age, had chronic subdural hematoma, and were treated by SEPS or BHE. Patients with prior neurosurgical history, mass lesions or bilateral hematomas were excluded. Patients who met inclusion for SEPS (n = 55) or BHE (n = 105). Samples were propensity matched to account for variability. Non-inferiority tests compared outcomes. Cost data was obtained through billable charges.

Results: Patients with multiple comorbidities were more likely to undergo SEPS drainage. Noninferiority tests reported no statistically significant evidence to suggest SEPS drains were worse in reoperation-rate (18% vs 9%), post-operative seizure, or functional outcome. SEPS drain placement trended towards a faster time to procedure (3 h faster; p = 0.07) but the overall hospital stay was longer (4.23 vs 5.81, p = 0.01). SEPS drain placement costs are less than BHE, but these patients had 25% higher overall hospital costs (p = 0.01) due to comorbidities and increased hospital stay.

Keywords: Costs; Headache; SEPS; Subdural; Trauma.

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Craniotomy / methods
  • Drainage / methods
  • Hematoma, Subdural, Chronic* / etiology
  • Hematoma, Subdural, Chronic* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Probability
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome