Preliminary results of randomized controlled study on decompressive craniectomy in treatment of malignant middle cerebral artery stroke

Janis Slezins, Valdis Keris, Raimonds Bricis, Andrejs Millers, Egils Valeinis, Janis Stukens, Olga Minibajeva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)
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Background and Objective. Studies on decompressive craniectomy (DCE) after a malignant middle cerebral artery (MCA) stroke in selected population show an increased probability of survival without increasing the number of very severely disabled. Cerebral infarct volume (CIV) as a triage criterion for performing surgery has not been discussed in literature. The aim of this study was to investigate the value of CIV and initial National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHHS) and Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) scores as possible triage criteria in the surgical treatment of patients with " malignant" MCA stroke. Material and Methods. According to the study protocol, 28 patients with a malignant MCA stroke were included and analyzed prospectively. The patients were randomly divided either into the DCE plus best medical treatment (BMT) group or BMT alone group. CIV and NIHHSand GCS scores were measured at time of enrollment in every case. Clinical outcome was evaluated 1 year after the treatment. Results. Six patients survived: 5 in the DCE group (none of them was older than 60 years) and 1 in the BMT group (P=0.03/0.06).Among survivors, none had a cerebral infarct volume of more than 390 cm3 (P=0.05). Allsurvivors inthe DCE group had favorable outcomes. There was no significant difference inthe NIHSS and GCS scores between the groups and survivors/nonsurvivors (P>0.05). Conclusions. Decompressive surgery in the selected patients is likely to increase the probability of survival with a favorable outcome without increasing the number of severely disabled survivors. Patients with CIV of more than 390 cm3 may be bad candidates for DCE, and the prognosis is likely to be bad regardless the treatment strategy. The initial NIHHS and GCS scores did not prove any prognostic value in outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-524
Number of pages4
JournalMedicina (Lithuania)
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical trial
  • Decompressive craniectomy
  • Malignant middle cerebral artery stroke
  • Space-occupyingedema

Field of Science*

  • 3.2 Clinical medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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