Isolated subdural hematomas in mild traumatic brain injury. Part 2: a preliminary clinical decision support tool for neurosurgical intervention


Journal of Neurosurgery, Ahead of Print.
OBJECTIVEA paucity of studies have examined neurosurgical interventions in the mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) population with intracranial hemorrhage (ICH). Furthermore, it is not understood how the dimensions of an ICH relate to the risk of a neurosurgical intervention. These limitations contribute to a lack of treatment guidelines. Isolated subdural hematomas (iSDHs) are the most prevalent ICH in mTBI, carry the highest neurosurgical intervention rate, and account for an overwhelming majority of all neurosurgical interventions. Decision criteria in this population could benefit from understanding the risk of requiring neurosurgical intervention. The aim of this study was to quantify the risk of neurosurgical intervention based on the dimensions of an iSDH in the setting of mTBI.METHODSThis was a 3.5-year, retrospective observational cohort study at a Level I trauma center. All adult (≥ 18 years) trauma patients with mTBI and iSDH were included in the study. Maximum length and thickness (in mm) of acute SDHs, the presence of acute-on-chronic (AOC) SDH, mass effect, and other hemorrhage-related variables were double–data entered; discrepant results were adjudicated after a maximum of 4 reviews. Patients with coagulopathy, skull fractures, no acute hemorrhage, a non-SDH ICH, or who did not undergo imaging on admission were excluded. Tentorial SDHs were not measured. The primary outcome was neurosurgical intervention (craniotomy, burr holes, intracranial pressure monitor placement, shunt, ventriculostomy, or SDH evacuation). Multivariate stepwise logistic regression was used to identify significant covariates, to assess interactions, and to create the scoring system.RESULTSThere were a total of 176 patients included in our study: 28 patients did and 148 did not receive a neurosurgical intervention. There were no significant differences between neurosurgical intervention groups in 11 demographic and 22 comorbid variables. Patients with neurosurgical intervention had significantly longer and thicker SDHs than nonsurgical controls. Logistic regression identified thickness and AOC hemorrhage as being the most important variables in predicting neurosurgical intervention; SDH length was not. Risk of neurosurgical intervention was calculated based on the SDH thickness and presence of an AOC hemorrhage from a multivariable logistic regression model (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve 0.94, 95% CI 0.90–0.97; p < 0.001). With a decision point of 2.35% risk, we predicted neurosurgical intervention with 100% sensitivity, 100% negative predictive value, and 53% specificity.CONCLUSIONSThis is the first study to quantify the risk of neurosurgical intervention based on hemorrhage characteristics in patients with mTBI and iSDH. Once validated in a second population, these data can be used to inform the necessity of interhospital transfers and neurosurgical consultations.

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