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ABC/2 formula for “bedside” postoperative pneumocephalus volume measurement

Chin Neurosurg J. 2022 Aug 3;8(1):18. doi: 10.1186/s41016-022-00287-z.


BACKGROUND: Postoperative pneumocephalus is associated with a higher risk of recurrence of chronic subdural hematoma (cSDH). However, there is no verified simple way to measure the pneumocephalus volume at the bedside for daily clinical use. The ABC/2 method was shown to be a simple and reliable technique to estimate volumes of intracranial lesions, such as intracranial hematomas. This study aims to evaluate the accuracy of the ABC/2 formula in estimating volumes of pneumocephalus, as compared to the gold standard with computer-assisted volumetric analysis.

METHODS: A total of 141 postoperative computed tomographic (CT) brain scans of cSDH patients with burr-hole drainage were analysed. Pneumocephalus volume was measured independently by both the ABC/2 formula and the computer-assisted volumetric measurement. For the computer-assisted measurement, the volume of the air was semiautomatically segmented and calculated by computer software. Linear regression was used to determine the correlation between the ABC/2 method and computer-assisted measurement.

RESULTS: The postoperative pneumocephalus volume after bilateral burr-hole drainage was significantly larger than that of unilateral burr-hole drainage (29.34 ml versus 12.21 ml, p < 0.001). The estimated volumes by the formula ABC/2 significantly correlated to the volumes as measured by the computer-assisted volumetric technique, with r = 0.992 (p < 0.001). The Pearson correlation coefficient is very close to 1, which signifies a very strong positive correlation, and it is statistically significant.

CONCLUSIONS: An excellent correlation is observed between the ABC/2 method and the computer-assisted measurement. This study verified that the ABC/2 method is an accurate and simple “bedside” technique to estimate pneumocephalus volume.

PMID:35922864 | DOI:10.1186/s41016-022-00287-z

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