Surgical Neurology International 2013 4(1):58-58
Background: Chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH) is a commonly encountered condition in neurosurgical practice. In Nigeria, a developing country, patients with CSDH are less likely to be diagnosed and treated by surgical drainage early. Aware of the reported variations in neurosurgeons' practices regarding CSDH in many parts of the world, we sought to determine the current practices of Nigerian neurosurgeons in managing CSDH. Methods: An Internet-based survey was carried out in which all Nigerian neurosurgeons listed in the Nigerian Academy of Neurological Surgeons directory during the July-December 2012 time period were asked to participate. Questions asked in the survey were: (1) Type of treatment used in patients with CSDH, (2) Use of drains postoperatively, (3) Postoperative patient positioning, (4) Postoperative mobilization, (5) Postoperative complications, and (6) Postoperative computed tomography (CT) scan monitoring. Results: Survey information was sent to the 25 practicing neurosurgeons in Nigeria who met the criteria listed above for being included in this study. Each of the 14 neurosurgeons who responded reported that CSDH is often misdiagnosed initially, usually as a stroke having occurred. Once a diagnosis of CSDH was made, the most common method of treatment reported was placement of one or two burr-holes for drainage of the hematoma. Reported, but used in only a few cases, were twist drill craniostomy, craniectomy, and craniotomy. Each neurosurgeon who responded reported irrigation of the subdural space with sterile saline, and in some cases an antibiotic had been added to the irrigation solution. Six of the 14 neurosurgeons left drains in the subdural space for 24-72 hours. Seven neurosurgeons reported positioning patients with their heads elevated 30° during the immediate postoperative period. No neurosurgeon responding reported use of steroids, and only one acknowledged routine use of anticonvulsive medication for patients with CSDH. Only 3 of the 14 neurosurgeons taking part in the study said they routinely order CT scans postoperatively. Conclusion: There are several differences in the ways Nigerian neurosurgeons manage CSDH. Future studies may help to streamline the approaches to managing CSDH.