Randomized Trial Comparing Burr Hole Craniostomy, Minicraniotomy, and Twist Drill Craniostomy for Treatment of Chronic Subdural Hematoma

Johnny Duerinck, Jorn Van Der Veken, Sophie Schuind, Frank Van Calenbergh, Johannes van Loon, Stephanie Du Four, Servaes Debacker, Emmanuel Costa, Christian Raftopoulos, Olivier De Witte, Wilfried Cools, Ronald Buyl, Vera Van Velthoven, Jean D'Haens, Michaël Bruneau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


BACKGROUND: The mainstay of treatment for symptomatic or large chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH) is surgery, but controversy still exists regarding the best surgical technique. Three different techniques are commonly used: burr hole craniostomy (BHC), minicraniotomy (MC), and twist drill craniostomy (TDC).

OBJECTIVE: To determine which surgical technique for drainage of CSDH offers best results.

METHODS: We set up a multicenter prospective randomized trial (Comparison of Chronic Subdural Hematoma Treatment [COMPACT] trial) comparing BHC, MC, and TDC for the surgical treatment of CSDH. The primary end point was reoperation rate, and secondary end points included complication rates and clinical outcome. Patients were considered to have good outcome when they did not undergo reoperation, suffered no surgical or medical complication, and had no related mortality. Clinical outcome was also evaluated by evolution of the Markwalder score and the modified Rankin score.

RESULTS: Two-hundred forty-five patients were included in the final analysis: 79 BHC, 84 MC, and 82 TDC. Mean duration of surgery was shorter for TDC than for BHC and MC (P < .001). Reoperation rate was 7.6% for BHC, 13.1% for MC, and 19.5% for TDC (P = .07). This trend toward better results for BHC was not statistically significant in logistic regression analysis. The proportion of patients with good outcome was 78.5% for BHC group, 76.2% for MC, and 69.5% for TDC (P = .4). Evolution of the Markwalder score and modified Rankin score were not significantly different between treatment groups.

CONCLUSION: All 3 techniques are effective at treating patients with CSDH with eventual 6-month outcome being similar. Although not reaching statistical significance in our study, BHC offers the lowest recurrence rate combined with manageable complication rate.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2022

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  • Burr Hole Craniostomy
  • Minicraniotomy
  • Twist Drill Craniostomy
  • Chronic Subdural Hematoma


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