Chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH) is prevalent in the aged population and is commonly treated with bur hole drainage. This treatment, however, can lead to various surgical complications. Atorvastatin may cure CSDH via its antiinflammatory and proangiogenesis effects, but not all patients treated with this medication can avoid surgery. The authors' aim was to investigate the effect of atorvastatin and identify characteristics of patients with CSDH sensitive to atorvastatin therapy.
A prospective, placebo-controlled observational study was conducted in 80 patients with evidence of CSDH. The patients were enrolled between February 2012 and August 2014 and were randomly assigned to either atorvastatin treatment (atorvastatin group) or placebo (control group). Patients were followed up for 12 months after initiation of treatment. Clinically relevant data were collected and compared between the 2 groups. The atorvastatin group was subdivided into patients who required surgery and those who did not, and characteristics of these subgroups were also compared. The relationship between atorvastatin treatment and need for surgery was investigated by means of multiple regression analysis using the following variables as predictors: age, sex, admission Markwalder grade, level of dependency in activities of daily living (ADL) as assessed with the modified Barthel Index, presence of hemiparesis, and hematoma volume.
The proportion of patients who required surgical intervention during the follow-up period was significantly lower in the atorvastatin group than in the control group (p = 0.001), and the mean time to surgery was longer in the atorvastatin group (p = 0.018). Within the atorvastatin group, there was a significant difference with respect to Markwalder grades, degree of dependency in ADL, percentage of patients with hemiparesis, and mean hematoma volume between the patients who required surgery during the follow-up period and those who did not (p = 0.002, p = 0.001, p = 0.001, and p = 0.012, respectively). The results of the logistic regression analysis showed that atorvastatin significantly reduced the probability of surgery and that female sex and favorable admission Markwalder grades and favorable dependency status with respect to ADL (independent, slightly dependent, or moderately dependent) were independent predictors of not requiring surgery.
Atorvastatin administration can promote the resolution of CSDH, especially for women with favorable Markwalder grades and favorable ADL dependency status at admission.