Do patients still require admission to an intensive care unit after elective craniotomy for brain surgery?

Ossam Rhondali, Céline Genty, Caroline Halle, Marianne Gardellin, Céline Ollinet, Manuela Oddoux, Joëlle Carcey, Gilles Francony, Bertrand Fauvage, Emmanuel Gay, Jean Luc Bosson, Jean François Payen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Background: After elective craniotomy for brain surgery, patients are usually admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU). We sought to identify predictors of postoperative complications to define perioperative conditions that would safely allow ICU bypass. Methods: This observational cohort study enrolled 358 patients admitted to neuro-ICU after elective intracranial procedures. Postoperative complications were defined as unexpected events occurring within 24 hours of surgery that required imaging or treatment for neurologic deterioration. Results: Fifty-two patients were transferred postoperatively to neuro-ICU with sedation and mechanical ventilation. Of the remaining 306 patients subjected to an attempt to awake and extubate in the operating room, 26 (8%) developed 1 postoperative complication, primarily a new motor deficit, unexpected awakening delay, or subsequent deterioration in consciousness. Four intracerebral hematomas required surgical evacuation and each of these was detected within 2 hours after surgery. Predictors of postoperative complications included failure to extubate the trachea in operating room [odds ratio 61.8; 95% confidence interval (CI) 12.2-312.5], and, to a lesser extent, a duration of surgery of more than 4 hours (odds ratio 3.3; 95% CI 1.4-7.8), and lateral positioning of the patient during the procedure (odds ratio 2.8, 95% CI 1.2-6.4). Conclusions: Our results encourage prospectively testing the hypothesis that patients with immediate, successful tracheal extubation after elective craniotomy for brain surgery, with a surgical duration of less than 4 hours in a nonlateral position could be monitored safely in the postanesthesia care unit before being discharged to a neurosurgical ward.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)118-123
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neurosurgical Anesthesiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2011


  • Intensive care unit
  • neurosurgery
  • postoperative
  • resource

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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