Hemorrhagic complications after decompressive craniectomy

Inamullah Khan, Ayesha Quddusi, Muhammad Waqas, Hamid Hussain Rai, Saqib Kamran Bakhshi, Muhammad Shahzad Shamim, Rashid Jooma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Decompressive craniectomy (DC) is the preferred surgical management option for lowering refractory intracranial pressure in cases of traumatic brain injury (TBI). A number of randomized controlled trials have demonstrated decreased mortality but increased morbidity following DC for TBI patients. Here, we reviewed the frequency of postoperative hemorrhagic complications following DC correlating with poor outcomes. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of patients who presented with TBI and underwent DC during the years 2015-2017. The frequency and characteristics of hemorrhagic complications were correlated with the patients' outcomes. Results: There were 74 patients with TBI included in the study who underwent DC. Of these, 31 patients developed expansion of existing hemorrhagic lesions, 13 had new contusions, three developed new extradural hemorrhages, two developed new subdural hematomas, and one patient developed an intraventricular hemorrhage. Those who developed expansion of existing hemorrhagic lesions following DC had longer ICU stays and poorer outcomes (Glasgow outcome scale). Conclusion: After 74 DC performed in TBI patients, 67% developed new hemorrhagic lesions or expansion of previously existing hemorrhages. This finding negatively impacted clinical outcomes, including mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Article number379
JournalSurgical Neurology International
Publication statusPublished - 11 Nov 2020


  • Decompressive craniectomy
  • Glasgow coma scale
  • Revised trauma score
  • Traumatic brain injury


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