Middle Meningeal Artery Embolization for Chronic Subdural Hematoma

Published Online:https://doi.org/10.1148/radiol.2017170053

Middle meningeal artery embolization facilitates resolution and prevents reaccumulation of chronic subdural hematoma and is more effective than conventional treatment without increasing treatment-related complications.


To evaluate the effect of middle meningeal artery (MMA) embolization on chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH) and compare the treatment outcomes of MMA embolization and conventional treatment.

Materials and Methods

All consecutive patients 20 years or older with CSDH were assessed for eligibility. CSDHs with a focal location, a thickness of 10 mm or less, no mass effect, or underlying conditions were excluded. Seventy-two prospectively enrolled patients with CSDH underwent MMA embolization (embolization group; as the sole treatment in 27 [37.5%] asymptomatic patients and with additional hematoma removal for symptom relief in 45 [62.5%] symptomatic patients). For comparison, 469 patients who underwent conventional treatment were included as a historical control group (conventional treatment group; close, nonsurgical follow-up in 67 [14.3%] and hematoma removal in 402 [85.7%] patients). Primary outcome was treatment failure defined as a composite of incomplete hematoma resolution (remaining or reaccumulated hematoma with thickness > 10 mm) or surgical rescue (hematoma removal for relief of symptoms that developed with continuous growth of initial or reaccumulated hematoma). Secondary outcomes included surgical rescue as a component of the primary outcome and treatment-related complication for safety measure. Six-month outcomes were compared between the study groups with logistic regression analysis.


Spontaneous hematoma resolution was achieved in all of 27 asymptomatic patients undergoing embolization without direct hematoma removal. Hematoma reaccumulation occurred in one (2.2%) of 45 symptomatic patients receiving embolization with additional hematoma removal. Treatment failure rate in the embolization group was lower than in the conventional treatment group (one of 72 patients [1.4%] vs 129 of 469 patients [27.5%], respectively; adjusted odds ratio [OR], 0.056; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.011, 0.286; P = .001). Surgical rescue was less frequent in the embolization group (one of 72 patients [1.4%] vs 88 of 469 patients [18.8%]; adjusted OR, 0.094; 95% CI: 0.018, 0.488; P = .005). Treatment-related complication rate was not different between the two groups (0 of 72 patients vs 20 of 469 patients [4.3%]; adjusted OR, 0.145; 95% CI: 0.009, 2.469; P = .182).


MMA embolization has a positive therapeutic effect on CSDH and is more effective than conventional treatment.

© RSNA, 2017


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Article History

Received January 7, 2017; revision requested March 6; revision received June 19; accepted July 15; final version accepted August 14.
Published online: Oct 10 2017
Published in print: Mar 2018