Surgical treatment for intracerebral hemorrhage (STICH): A single-center, randomized clinical trial

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To perform a single-center pilot investigation of early hematoma removal in patients with intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH).


Considerable debate remains regarding the utility of surgical clot evacuation for ICH.


This was a prospective trial of open craniotomy within 12 hours of ICH symptom onset versus best medical therapy. Patients were eligible if they had a nontraumatic ICH >9 mL with significant neurologic impairment and were prepared for surgery within 12 hours of symptom onset. The study included a prospective registry of patients and a randomized trial.


The registry group included 34 medical and seven surgical patients. The surgical group had larger hemorrhages (median, 96 mL) and a lower Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score (median, 10) compared with the medical group (33 mL; GCS score, 13). Six-month mortality was less in the medical group (36%) compared with the surgical group (54%). In the randomized series, median ICH volumes were similar in the surgical group (n = 17; 49 mL) compared with the medical group (n = 17; 44 mL). Median GCS score was also similar (medical, 10; surgical, 11). Mortality was lower in the surgical group (6%) compared with the medical group (24%) at 1 month, but similar at 6 months (surgical group, 17%; medical group, 24%).


A trial of early surgery for ICH is feasible. This study represents the largest prospective, randomized series of surgery for ICH. A modest early mortality benefit for surgery is possible, but long-term benefit for surgery was not established in this single-center pilot investigation.

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