The results from studies that compare middle meningeal artery (MMA) embolization vs conventional management for patients with chronic subdural hematoma are varied.
To conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis on studies that compared MMA embolization vs conventional management.
Medline, PubMed, and Embase databases were searched. Primary outcomes were treatment failure and surgical rescue; secondary outcomes were complications, follow-up modified Rankin scale > 2, mortality, complete hematoma resolution, and length of hospital stay (day). The certainty of the evidence was determined using the GRADE approach.
Nine studies yielding 1523 patients were enrolled, of which 337 (22.2%) and 1186 (77.8%) patients received MMA embolization and conventional management, respectively. MMA embolization was superior to conventional management for treatment failure (relative risk [RR] = 0.34 [0.14-0.82], P = .02), surgical rescue (RR = 0.33 [0.14-0.77], P = .01), and complete hematoma resolution (RR = 2.01 [1.10-3.68], P = .02). There was no difference between the 2 groups for complications (RR = 0.93 [0.63-1.37], P = .72), follow-up modified Rankin scale >2 (RR = 0.78 [0.449-1.25], P = .31), mortality (RR = 1.05 [0.51-2.14], P = .89), and length of hospital stay (mean difference = −0.57 [−2.55, 1.41], P = .57). For MMA embolization, the number needed to treat for treatment failure, surgical rescue, and complete hematoma resolution was 7, 9, and 3, respectively. The certainty of the evidence was moderate to high for primary outcomes and low to moderate for secondary outcomes.
MMA embolization decreases treatment failure and the need for surgical rescue without furthering the risk of morbidity and mortality. The authors recommend considering MMA embolization in the chronic subdural hematoma management.