Document Type : Short Communication


1 Department of Neurosurgery, Namazi Hospital, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2 Department of Neurosurgery, Persian Gulf Hospital, Bandar Abbas, Iran

3 Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran

4 Department of Life Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada

5 Clinical Neurology Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran


Background: This study aimed to compare the functional outcome of patients with malignant middle cerebral artery (MCA) infarction who had undergone either early decompressive craniectomy (DC) or optimal medical therapy (OMT).
Methods: This study was conducted during a 2-year period in Golestan Hospital of Ahvaz, Iran. The selected patients with malignant MCA infarction who were admitted within 48 hours of presenting signs were included. The patients were randomly assigned to undergo either early DC (n = 12) or OMT (n = 12) in the neurosurgical intensive care unit (ICU). The functional outcomes in the subjects were evaluated with the Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) and the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) at discharge, 6, and 12-month intervals.
Results: The patients who underwent DC had significantly higher GOS at discharge (P = 0.013),
6 (P = 0.022), and 12 (P = 0.042) months as compared to the medical therapy group. However, the NIHSS score did not show any significant difference between the two groups during the study. Likewise, DC was associated with lower mortality at 6 (P = 0.027) and 12 (P = 0.014) months; moreover, the lower mortality rate (P = 0.014), severe disability (P = 0.040), higher good recovery (P < 0.001), and moderate disability (P < 0.001) were observed after 12 months of follow-up.
Conclusion: These findings suggest that early DC in patients with malignant MCA can decrease mortality and improve the functional outcome according to GOS criteria compared to medical therapy.


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