Objective Cerebellar stroke causes major morbidity in the aging population. Guidelines from the American Stroke Association recommend emergent decompression in patients who have brainstem compression, hydrocephalus, or clinical deterioration. The objective of this study was to determine 30-day and 1-year mortality rates in patients >60 years old undergoing emergent posterior fossa decompression. Methods Surgical records identified all patients >60 years old who underwent emergent posterior fossa decompression. Mortality rates were calculated at 30 days and 1 year postoperatively, and these rates were compared with patient and procedure characteristics. Results During 2000-2014, 34 emergent posterior fossa decompressions were performed in patients >60 years old. Mortality rates at 30 days were 0%, 33%, and 25% for age deciles 60-69 years, 70-79 years, and ≥80 years. Increasing age (alive at 30 days 75.2 years ± 1.7 vs. deceased 81.1 years ± 1.7, P = 0.01) and smaller craniectomy dimensions were associated with 30-day mortality. Mortality rates at 1 year were 0%, 50%, and 67% for age deciles 60-69 years, 70-79 years, and ≥80 years. Increasing age was significantly associated with mortality at 1 year (alive at 1 year 72.3 years ± 2.0 vs. deceased 81.1 years ± 1.2, P < 0.01). Type of pathology, side of pathology, volume of bleed/infarct, and placement of an external ventricular drain were not associated with mortality. Age was independent of admission Glasgow Coma Scale score as a predictor of mortality at 30 days, 90 days, and 1 year postoperatively. Conclusions Increasing age and smaller craniectomy size were significantly associated with mortality in patients undergoing emergent posterior fossa decompression. Among patients ≥80 years old, one-quarter were dead within 1 month of the operation, and more than two-thirds were dead within 1 year.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology