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2022 Mar 03


Time to medical fitness for discharge following surgical evacuation of chronic subdural haematoma with general or regional anaesthesia: a prospective randomised trial.


General or regional anaesthesia can be used for chronic subdural haematoma evacuation, but no study has compared these types of anaesthesia in terms of peri-operative outcomes. This single-centre, prospective, randomised study included adult patients (age ≥ 18 years) undergoing surgical chronic subdural haematoma evacuation. Patients were randomly allocated to general (target-controlled total intravenous anaesthesia with propofol and remifentanil) or regional anaesthesia (bilateral scalp block with remifentanil sedation if required). The primary outcome measure was duration of hospital stay, based on the day patients were judged by an investigator blinded from the allocation group to be medically fit for discharge. Secondary outcomes included: rate of regional anaesthesia failure; rate of intra-operative and postoperative adverse events at 24 hours; and pain scores at 24 hours. Data from 60 patients were analysed (30 general anaesthesia and 30 regional anaesthesia). Median (IQR [range]) time until patients were judged medically fit for discharge was 3 (3-3 [2-10]) days and 3 (2-5 [2-15]) days for general and regional anaesthesia, respectively (p = 0.700). Regional anaesthesia failed in two patients. There were more intra-operative adverse events in patients who received general anaesthesia (25 vs. 11, respectively; p = 0.001). The occurrence of postoperative adverse events was similar for general and regional anaesthesia (16 vs. 13 patients, respectively; p = 0.605). In patients requiring chronic subdural haematoma evacuation, general and regional anaesthesia are comparable in terms of duration of time until medically fit for discharge and occurrence of postoperative complications. The rate of intra-operative adverse events (mainly arterial hypotension) is greater with general anaesthesia.