Early surgical treatment for supratentorial intracerebral hemorrhage: A randomized feasibility study

Mario Zuccarello, Thomas G Brott, Laurent Derex, Rashmi Kothari, Laura Sauerbeck, John Tew, Harry Van Loveren, Hwa Shain Yeh, Thomas Tomsick, Arthur Pancioli, Jane Khoury, Joseph Broderick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

235 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose - The safety and the effectiveness of the surgical treatment of spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) remain controversial. To investigate the feasibility of urgent surgical evacuation of ICH, we conducted a small, randomized feasibility study of early surgical treatment versus current nonoperative management in patients with spontaneous supratentorial ICH. Methods - Patients with spontaneous supratentorial ICH who presented to 1 university and 2 community hospitals were randomized to surgical treatment or best medical treatment. Principal eligibility criteria were ICH volume >10 cm 3 on baseline CT scan with a focal neurological deficit, Glasgow Coma Scale score >4 at the time of enrollment, randomization and therapy within 24 hours of symptom onset, surgery within 3 hours of randomization, and no evidence for ruptured aneurysm or arteriovenous malformation. The primary end point was the 3-month Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS). A good outcome was defined as a 3-month GOS score >3. Results - Twenty patients were randomized over 24 months, 9 to surgical intervention and 11 to medical treatment. The median time from onset of symptoms to presentation at the treating hospitals was 3 hours and 17 minutes, the time from randomization to surgery was 1 hour and 20 minutes, and the time from onset of symptoms to surgery was 8 hours and 35 minutes. The likelihood of a good outcome (primary outcome measure: GOS score >3) for the surgical treatment group (56%) did not differ significantly from the medical treatment group (36%). There was no significant difference in mortality at 3 months. Analysis of the secondary 3-month outcome measures showed a nonsignificant trend toward a better outcome in the surgical treatment group versus the medical treatment group for the median GOS, Barthel Index, and Rankin Scale and a significant difference in the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score (4 versus 14; P=0.04). Conclusions - Very early surgical treatment for acute ICH is difficult to achieve but feasible at academic medical centers and community hospitals. The trend toward less 3-month morbidity with surgical intervention in patients with spontaneous supratentorial ICH warrants further investigation of very early clot removal in larger randomized clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1833-1839
Number of pages7
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1999



  • Craniotomy
  • Intracerebral hemorrhage
  • Medical management
  • Stereotaxic aspiration
  • Surgical treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Zuccarello, M., Brott, T. G., Derex, L., Kothari, R., Sauerbeck, L., Tew, J., Van Loveren, H., Yeh, H. S., Tomsick, T., Pancioli, A., Khoury, J., & Broderick, J. (1999). Early surgical treatment for supratentorial intracerebral hemorrhage: A randomized feasibility study. Stroke, 30(9), 1833-1839.