Predicting Functional Outcome After Decompressive Craniectomy for Malignant Hemispheric Infarction: Clinical and Novel Imaging Factors

Askiel Bruno, Nina Paletta, Uttam Verma, Monika E. Grabowska, Heather M. Haughey, Prem P. Batchala, Solomon Abay, Joseph Donahue, John Vender, Sankara Sethuraman, Fenwick T. Nichols

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: Decompressive craniectomy (DC) is an established optional treatment for malignant hemispheric infarction (MHI). We analyzed relevant clinical factors and computed tomography (CT) measurements in patients with DC for MHI to identify predictors of functional outcome 3–6 months after stroke. Methods: This study was performed at 2 comprehensive stroke centers. The inclusion criteria required DC for MHI, no additional intraoperative procedures (strokectomy or cerebral ventricular drain placement), and documented functional status 3–6 months after the stroke. We classified functional outcome as acceptable if the modified Rankin Scale score was <5, or as unacceptable if it was 5 or 6 (bedbound and totally dependent on others or death). Multiple logistic regression analyzed relevant clinical factors and multiple perioperative CT measurements to identify predictors of acceptable functional outcome. Results: Of 87 identified consecutive patients, 66 met the inclusion criteria. Acceptable functional outcome occurred in 35 of 66 (53%) patients. Likelihood of acceptable functional outcome decreased significantly with increasing age (OR 0.92, 95% CI 0.82–0.97, P = 0.004) and with increasing post-DC midline brain shift (OR 0.78, 95% CI 0.64–0.96, P = 0.016), and decreased non-significantly with left-sided stroke (OR 0.30, 95% CI 0.08–1.10, P = 0.069) and with increasing craniectomy barrier thickness (OR 0.92, 95% CI 0.85–1.01, P = 0.076). Conclusions: Patient age and the post-DC midline shift may be useful in prognosticating functional outcome after DC for MHI. Stroke side and craniectomy barrier thickness merit further ideally prospective outcome prediction testing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e1017-e1021
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • Brain herniation
  • Cerebral edema
  • Craniectomy
  • Ischemic stroke
  • Stroke outcome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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