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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 145-148

Outcome of surgery for operable supratentorial mass lesions in patients presenting with decerebration following severe head injury: A retrospective analysis of factors affecting outcome

1 CSM Medical University (formerly King George’s Medical College), Chowk, Lucknow, UP, India
2 CSMMU (UPGRADED King George Medical University), Chowk, Lucknow, UP, India

Correspondence Address:
Amit Bindal
Department of Neurosurgery, CSM Medical University (formerly King George’s Medical College), Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh - 226 003
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Source of Support: Nil, Conflict of Interest: None declared.

DOI: 10.4103/1793-5482.161176

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Aim: Abnormal motor response in the form of decerebration signifies either injury or compression of brain stem. The presence of decerebrate rigidity following head injury is a grave prognostic sign. Mortality may increase up to 70% in patients showing signs of decerebration. Although many studies have identified the prognostic factors in severe head injuries, few studies have focused on the operated patients with decerebration in predicting the long-term outcome. This study was planned to determine the outcome in this group of patients for prognostication and to help plan further line of management. Materials and Methods: All the patients admitted with severe head injury with decerebration (M2 motor response) admitted in neurosurgery department from September 2009 to January 2011 were included in the study. All the patients had operable supratentorial mass lesions with no direct evidence of brain stem damage. Patients with penetrating injury and diffuse injury with no operative mass lesions were excluded from the study. Clinical and computerized tomography (CT) data were correlated with outcome retrospectively. Glasgow outcome scale (GOS) was used as a measure of functional outcome. Results: The patients admitted with decerebration (M2 motor response) comprised 8% of the total head injury related operative procedures performed at our institute during the period. Of the 72 patients, 14 (19%) patients were more than 60 years old and 21% (15) were females. The surgical mass lesions comprised extradural hematoma in 27 (38%), cerebral contusions in 19 (26%), acute Subdural Hematoma alone in 7 (10%), and acute Subdural Hematoma (SDH) with cerebral contusion in 19 (26%) of the patients. Of the 72 patients, 36(50%) were operated within 24 hours of injury Follow-up of all, but 2 (3%) was obtained. Favorable outcome (GOS 4 and 5) was obtained in 14% (n = 10) of the patients with 83% (n = 60) mortality rate. The favorable outcome rate among the patients operated for Extradural Hematoma was 26% and for cerebral contusions was 11%. Only 5% of the patients operated for acute SDH survived. Conclusion: Radiological diagnosis (type of lesion), followed by duration of decerebration and age of the patient are the most important prognostic factors determining the outcome of surgery in decerebrating patients. Our results confirm that despite the poor prognosis in decerebrate patients, a significant number of patients may still survive and have a good outcome.

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