Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary Haemorrhage in regions remote from the site of following intracranial operations is rare, but they do occur. We performed supratentorial craniotomy on 639 patients between the time of introduction of computed tomography (CT) for clinical use in 1983 and June 1992; subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH) in the posterior fossa occurred postoperatively in six of these cases. These included four patients with tumours in the sellar region, one with an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) and one who underwent superficial temporal artery (STA)-middle cerebral artery (MCA) anastomosis. The ages of the six patients ranged from 17–72 years. Haemorrhage occurred on the day of operation in one case and was detected on CT examination on the day following surgery in the remaining five cases. Of three patients with disturbance of consciousness, two underwent suboccipital craniectomy for reduction of intracranial pressure, while one received barbiturate therapy and later underwent cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) shunt surgery. No special treatment was necessary for the remaining three patients with less serious lesions. Five of the six patients ultimately recovered their pre-operative neurological status apart from the primary diseases. Factors inducing such haemorrhages seem likely to include displacement of the cerebellum by reduced CSF pressure during and after operations, and stretching and tearing of the veins and venules in the sulci of the tentorial surface of the cerebellum. Consideration should therefore be given to the maintenance of an appropriate CSF pressure during operation; this is particularly important in elderly patients and those with an atrophied cerebral cortex.
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