Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Statins may replace surgery for chronic subdural haematoma


by Michael Woodhead
Doctors in Tianjin have shown that atorvastatin may be an alternative to surgery for patients with chronic subdural haematoma.
In a study involving 23 patients with chronic subdural haematoma they showed that statin treatment improved symptoms and reduced haematoma volume.
The patients were treated with oral atorvastatin 20 mg/day for one to six months, and haematoma was completely resolved in 77% of patients and showed major shrinkage in the other pateints within three months of starting treatment.
After six months, 18 patients showed no haematoma by CT or MRI scan and none of the 22 patients relapsed during the follow-up period of up to 36 months. All patients had improved symptoms scored.
Dr Wang Dong and colleagues from the Department of Neurosurgery at Tianjin Medical University said chronic subdural haematoma  was common and more prevalent in the aged population.
They noted that surgical intervention was the treatment of choice, but its outcomes may not be satisfactory because of recurrence and physical infirmity associated with aging.
They said aberrant angiogenesis and localised inflammation contribute to the formation of chronic subdural haematoma, and atorvastatin had significant effects on  angiogenesis and inflammation.
Results of this preliminary prospective study show that the oral administration of atorvastatin is safe and effective in treating chronic subdural haematoma, offering a cost–effective alternative to surgery,” they concluded.
Read the full study at Journal of the Neurological Sciences

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