Hydrocephalus following decompressive craniectomy for malignant middle cerebral artery infarction.
ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to evaluate the incidence of hydrocephalus and understand the influence of hydrocephalus on the functional outcome of patients undergoing decompressive craniectomy for malignant middle cerebral artery (MCA) infarction.
We retrospectively analyzed data of consecutive patients who underwent decompressive craniectomy for malignant MCA infarction. Clinical and imaging data were reviewed to confirm the incidence of hydrocephalus and evaluate the impact of hydrocephalus on functional outcome. The functional outcomes of patients were estimated with the Glasgow outcome score at 1year after stroke onset.
Seventeen patients who received decompressive craniectomy for malignant MCA infarction from January 2003 to December 2006 were enrolled. Persistent hydrocephalus developed in 5 patients. The functional outcomes in these patients were uniformly poor regardless of cerebrospinal fluid diversion surgery. Our data revealed that functional outcome was related to patient age and the duration from infarction to craniectomy.
Persistent hydrocephalus is common in patients who receive decompressive craniectomy for malignant MCA infarction. However, the shunt procedure does not significantly improve the patient's clinical condition. The timing of operation in relation to the functional outcome may be critical.