Quality of life after decompressive craniectomy in patients suffering from supratentorial brain ischemia
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Background. Decompressive craniectomy in patients suffering from severe ischemic stroke in the middle cerebral artery territory (MCA) decreases mortality to near 30%. Additionally functional outcome in patients after early craniectomy seems to be better than in patients without surgery. The aim of this study was to investigate the quality of life of patients who were treated with a decompressive craniectomy for severe ischemic stroke.
Methods. We retrospectively investigated the patient records of 48 patients (26 men, mean age 48 years) suffering from ischemic strokes who underwent craniectomy since 1993. We registrated the preoperative neurological status, the diagnostic data as well as the operative procedure. The outcome was assessed using the Barthel Index, the Glasgow outcome score and a questionnaire to assess the quality of life according to Blau consisting of eleven items at follow-up.
Findings. The mortality rate was 26%, age correlated to mortality (44.5 versus 60.3 years GOS 1, mean, p<0.0006). Craniectomy without dura patch correlated to mortality (58% versus 14% GOS 1 with dura patch, p<0.005). The quality of life index was 6 points mean. The quality of life index did neither differ significantly between patients with left or right sided lesions nor in patients with and without aphasia. 83% of the surviving patients and/or dependents would agree to surgery in the future.
Conclusion. Despite the fact that some patients remain in a poor neurological condition, quality of life after decompressive surgery for ischemic stroke seems to be acceptable to the patients.
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