Computed tomographic criteria and survival rate for patients with acute subdural hematoma

Neurosurgery. 1996 Oct;39(4):708-12; discussion 712-3. doi: 10.1097/00006123-199610000-00011.


Objective: Computed tomographic data from 174 patients with acute subdural hematoma were analyzed statistically to identify parameters that could be evaluated independently of clinical and neurological status to estimate outcome.

Methods: This retrospective study was made necessary by the fact that the patients admitted usually had been treated with intubation, sedation, and artificial ventilation, which precludes neurological examination.

Results: In surgically treated patients, the hematoma thickness ranged from 5 to 35 mm and the midline shift was 0 to 33 mm. In 81 patients (46.6%), the hematoma thickness was greater than the midline shift; in 24 patients (13.8%), the hematoma thickness equaled the midline shift; and in 69 patients (39.6%), the midline shift exceeded the hematoma thickness. Of the patients, 52% died after surgery, for 29% we obtained good or satisfying results, and 19% were in poor condition after therapy. The Kaplan-Meier survival analysis proved that the survival rate was only 50% for a hematoma thickness of approximately 18 mm and a midline shift of 20 mm. The survival function dropped markedly for midline shifts of more than 20 mm and converged to 0% for midline shifts of more than 25 mm. If the midline shift exceeded the hematoma thickness by 3 mm, the survival function was 50%; when the midline shift exceeded the hematoma thickness by 5 mm, the survival function was 25%. The Glasgow Outcome Scale scores were correlated significantly with these parameters. The parameters, which are the measured hematoma thickness, the midline shift, and the difference between the hematoma thickness and the midline shift, allow robust/adequate estimation of survival function and outcome for patients suffering from acute subdural hematoma.

Conclusion: Based on these data, indications for surgery could be assessed by means of video conferencing, i.e., without personal examination of the patients.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Female
  • Glasgow Coma Scale
  • Hematoma, Subdural / diagnostic imaging
  • Hematoma, Subdural / mortality*
  • Hematoma, Subdural / surgery
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / diagnostic imaging
  • Postoperative Complications / mortality
  • Prognosis
  • Survival Analysis
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*