Decompressive Craniectomy in Neurocritical Care

Erik G. Hayman, David B. Kurland, Zachary Grunwald, Sebastian Urday, Kevin N. Sheth, J. Marc Simard*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Neurosurgeons increasingly use decompressive craniectomy (DC) in neurocritical care. In this review, the authors summarize the topic of DC for the neurointensivist. Following a brief overview of the procedure, the major indications for the procedure are described. This includes a review of the literature regarding well-established indications, such as infarction and traumatic brain injury, as well as lesser known indications, including intracerebral hemorrhage, ruptured cerebrovascular malformations, sinus thrombosis, and infection. Complications unique to DC, specifically syndrome of the trephined, hygroma, and hydrocephalus, also are reviewed with a discussion of their management, both in the immediate and the postoperative period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)508-519
Number of pages12
JournalSeminars in Neurology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • decompressive craniectomy
  • edema
  • hemicraniectomy
  • stroke
  • traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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