Early spontaneous cessation of subdural drainage after burr hole evacuation of chronic subdural hematoma and risk of recurrence

Mads Hjortdal Grønhøj*, Thorbjørn Søren Rønn Jensen, Bjarni Johannsson, Kåre Fugleholm, Frantz Rom-Poulsen

*Corresponding author for this work


OBJECTIVE: Subdural drainage reduces recurrence after evacuation of chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH). In the present study, the authors investigated the dynamics of drain production and potentially contributing factors for recurrence.

METHOD: Patients treated with a single burr hole evacuation of CSDH between April 2019 and July 2020 were included. Patients were also participants in a randomized controlled trial. All patients included, had a passive subdural drain for exactly 24 hours. Drain production, Glasgow Coma Scale score, and degree of mobilization was recorded every hour for 24 hours. A CSDH successfully drained for 24 hours is referred to as a "case". Patients were followed for 90 days. Primary outcome was symptomatic recurrent CSDH requiring surgery.

RESULTS: A total of 118 cases from 99 patients were included in the study. Of the 118 cases, 34 (29%) had spontaneous drain cessation within the first 0-8 hours after surgery (Group A), 32 (27%) within 9-16 hours (Group B), and 52 (44%) within 17-24 hours (Group C). Hours of production (P < 0.000) and total drain volume (P = 0.001) were significantly different between groups. The recurrence rate was 26.5% in group A, 15.6% in group B, and 9.6% in group C (P = 0.037). Multivariable logistic regression analysis show that cases in group C (OR: 0.13, P = 0.005) are significantly less likely to recur compared to group A. Only in 8 of the 118 cases (6.8%), the drain started draining again after an interval of three consecutive hours.

CONCLUSIONS: Early spontaneous cessation of subdural drain production seems to be associated with increased risk of recurrent hematoma. Patients with early cessation of drainage did not benefit from further drain time. Observations of the present study indicate personalized drainage discontinuation strategy as a potentially alternative to a specific discontinuation time for all CSDH patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0285750
JournalPLoS One
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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