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Zhuo-Hao Liu, Nan-Yu Chen, Po-Hsun Tu, Shih-Tseng Lee and Chieh-Tsai Wu

Object

The management of subdural empyema (SDE) has been debated in the literature for decades. Craniotomy and bur hole drainage have been shown to achieve a favorable outcome. However, there is a lack of comparative data for these modes of management of SDE subsequent to meningitis in infants.

Methods

The authors conducted a retrospective review of 33 infants identified with SDE due to meningitis at the Department of Neurosurgery, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital between 2000 and 2006. Preoperative clinical presentation, duration of symptoms, radiological investigations, CSF data, and postoperative outcome were analyzed and compared between these 2 surgical groups.

Results

At diagnosis, there were no differences between the groups in age, weight, degree of consciousness, CSF analysis, or duration of fever. The outcome data showed no difference in the number of days until afebrile, number of days of postsurgical antibiotic treatment, neurological outcome, recurrence rate, or complication rate. There was only 1 death in the series.

Conclusions

Subdural empyema due to meningitis in infants is unique with respect to the pathophysiology, presentation, and treatment of SDE. Early detection and removal of SDE provide a favorable outcome in both surgical intervention groups. Bur hole drainage is less invasive, and it is possible to expect a clinical outcome as good as with craniotomy in postmeningitic SDE.

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Mun-Chun Yeap, Ching-Chang Chen, Zhuo-Hao Liu, Po-Chuan Hsieh, Cheng-Chi Lee, Yu-Tse Liu, Alvin Yi-Chou Wang, Yin-Cheng Huang, Kuo-Chen Wei, Chieh-Tsai Wu and Po-Hsun Tu

OBJECTIVE

Cranioplasty is a relatively simple and less invasive intervention, but it is associated with a high incidence of postoperative seizures. The incidence of, and the risk factors for, such seizures and the effect of prophylactic antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) have not been well studied. The authors’ aim was to evaluate the risk factors that predispose patients to postcranioplasty seizures and to examine the role of seizure prophylaxis in cranioplasty.

METHODS

The records of patients who had undergone cranioplasty at the authors’ medical center between 2009 and 2014 with at last 2 years of follow-up were retrospectively reviewed. Demographic and clinical characteristics, the occurrence of postoperative seizures, and postoperative complications were analyzed.

RESULTS

Among the 583 patients eligible for inclusion in the study, 247 had preexisting seizures or used AEDs before the cranioplasty and 336 had no seizures prior to cranioplasty. Of these 336 patients, 89 (26.5%) had new-onset seizures following cranioplasty. Prophylactic AEDs were administered to 56 patients for 1 week after cranioplasty. No early seizures occurred in these patients, and this finding was statistically significant (p = 0.012). Liver cirrhosis, intraoperative blood loss, and shunt-dependent hydrocephalus were risk factors for postcranioplasty seizures in the multivariable analysis.

CONCLUSIONS

Cranioplasty is associated with a high incidence of postoperative seizures. The prophylactic use of AEDs can reduce the occurrence of early seizures.

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Ching-Chang Chen, Shao-Wei Chen, Po-Hsun Tu, Yin-Cheng Huang, Zhuo-Hao Liu, Alvin Yi-Chou Wang, Shih-Tseng Lee, Tien-Hsing Chen, Chi-Tung Cheng, Shang-Yu Wang and An-Hsun Chou

OBJECTIVE

Burr hole craniostomy is an effective and simple procedure for treating chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH). However, the surgical outcomes and recurrence of CSDH in patients with liver cirrhosis (LC) remain unknown.

METHODS

A nationwide population-based cohort study was retrospectively conducted using data from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database. The study included 29,163 patients who underwent first-time craniostomy for CSDH removal between January 1, 2001, and December 31, 2013. In total, 1223 patients with LC and 2446 matched non-LC control patients were eligible for analysis. All-cause mortality, surgical complications, repeat craniostomy, extended craniotomy, and long-term medical costs were analyzed.

RESULTS

The in-hospital mortality rate (8.7% vs 3.1% for patients with LC and non-LC patients, respectively), frequency of hospital admission, length of ICU stay, number of blood transfusions, and medical expenditures of patients with LC who underwent craniostomy for CSDH were considerably higher than those of non-LC control patients. Patients with LC tended to require an extended craniotomy to remove subdural hematomas in the hospital or during long-term follow-up. The surgical outcome worsened with an increase in the severity of LC.

CONCLUSIONS

Even for simple procedures following minor head trauma, LC remains a serious comorbidity with a poor prognosis.