Post-traumatic hydrocephalus after decompressive craniectomy: an underestimated risk factor

Pasquale De Bonis, Angelo Pompucci, Annunziato Mangiola, Luigi Rigante, Carmelo Anile

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista

108 Citazioni (Scopus)


The incidence of post-traumatic hydrocephalus (PTH) has been reported to be 0.7-51.4%, and we have frequently observed the development of PTH in patients undergoing decompressive craniectomy (DC). For this reason we performed a retrospective review of a consecutive series of patients undergoing DC after traumatic brain injury (TBI). From January 2006 to December 2009, 41 patients underwent DC after closed head injury. Study outcomes focused specifically on the development of hydrocephalus after DC. Variables described by other authors to be associated with PTH were studied, including advanced age, the timing of cranioplasty, higher score on the Fisher grading system, low post-resuscitation Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) infection. We also analyzed the influence of the area of craniotomy and the distance of craniotomy from the midline. Logistic regression was used with hydrocephalus as the primary outcome measure. Of the nine patients who developed hydrocephalus, eight patients (89%) had undergone craniotomy with the superior limit <25 mm from the midline. This association was statistically significant (p = 0.01 - Fisher's exact test). Logistic regression analysis showed that the only factor independently associated with the development of hydrocephalus was the distance from the midline. Patients with craniotomy whose superior limit was <25 mm from the midline had a markedly increased risk of developing hydrocephalus (OR = 17). Craniectomy with a superior limit too close to the midline can predispose patients undergoing DC to the development of hydrocephalus. We therefore suggest performing wide DCs with the superior limit >25 mm from the midline.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)1965-1970
Numero di pagine6
RivistaJournal of Neurotrauma
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2010


  • Accidental Falls
  • Accidents, Traffic
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Craniotomy
  • Decompression, Surgical
  • Female
  • Glasgow Coma Scale
  • Glasgow Outcome Scale
  • Head Injuries, Closed
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Intracranial Hypertension
  • Intracranial Pressure
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Regression Analysis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Young Adult


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