Role of dural fenestrations in acute subdural hematoma

J. N. Guilburd, G. E. Sviri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Object. Patients with acute subdural hematomas (ASDHs) have higher mortality and lower functional recovery rates compared with those of other head-injured patients. Early surgical decompression and active intensive care treatment represent, so far, the best way to assist these patients. Paradoxically, one of the factors contributing to poor outcomes in cases of ASDHs could be rapid surgical decompression, owing to the severe extrusion of the brain through the craniotomy defect in response to acute brain swelling. To avoid the deleterious consequences of abrupt decompression of the subdural space with disruption of brain tissue, the authors have adopted a new surgical technique for evacuation of ASDHs. This procedure consists of creating multiple fenestrations of the dura (MFD) in a meshlike fashion and removing clots through the small dural openings that are left open, avoiding the creation of a wide dural opening and the disruption of and additional damage to brain tissue. Methods. Thirty-one patients (26 male and five female patients with a mean age of 32.5 years) harboring ASDHs were treated using this method. On admission there were 16 patients (51.5%) with Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) scores of 3 to 5, 11 patients (35.5%) with GCS scores of 6 to 8, and four patients (12.9%) with GCS scores of 9 to 12. Post-operative computerized tomography scans of the brain revealed evacuation of more than 80% of the hematoma in 29 of 31 patients. The overall mortality rate in this group was 51.6%. Conclusions. This preliminary report of a new surgical approach for patients who have sustained ASDHs should be considered to avoid abrupt disruption of the brain and to allow the gradual and gentle release of subdural clots. This is especially important in cases in which there are severe midline shifts and a tight brain. Further clinical studies should be conducted in a more selected series to estimate the impact of this new procedure on morbidity and mortality rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-267
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001


  • Acute subdural hematoma
  • Cerebral tissue disruption
  • Decompression surgery
  • Dural fenestration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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