Quality of life after hemicraniectomy for traumatic brain injury in adults. A review of the literature.

Shabbar F. Danish, Dean Barone, Bradley C. Lega, Sherman C. Stein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Decompressive hemicraniectomy is well accepted for the surgical treatment of intractable intracranial hypertension in cases in which medical management fails. Although it is performed as a life-saving procedure when death is imminent from intracranial hypertension, little is known about the functional outcomes for these patients on long-term follow-up. In this study, the authors performed a systematic review of the literature to examine neurological outcome after hemicraniectomy. A literature search revealed 29 studies that reported outcomes using GOS scores. The GOS scores were transformed to utility values for quality of life using a conversion method based on decision analysis modeling. Based on the literature, 1422 cases were analyzed. The average 6-month-postoperative mortality rate was 28.2%. The mean QOL value among survivors was 0.592, which corresponds roughly to a GOS score of 4. Although more studies are needed for validation of long-term neurological outcome after hemicraniectomy, the assumption that most patients remain in a vegetative state after this intervention is clearly incorrect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNeurosurgical Focus
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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