Remote cerebellar hemorrhage after supratentorial surgery

Jonathan A. Friedman, David G. Piepgras, Derek A. Duke, Robyn L. McClelland, Perry S. Bechtle, Cormac O. Maher, Akio Morita, William J. Perkins, Joseph E. Parisi, Robert D. Brown, Marc R. Mayberg, Ralph G. Dacey, Charles J. Hodge

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OBJECTIVE: Remote cerebellar hemorrhage (RCH) is an infrequent and poorly understood complication of supratentorial neurosurgical procedures. We retrospectively compared 42 patients who experienced RCH with a case-matched control cohort, to delineate risk factors associated with the occurrence of this complication. METHODS: Between 1988 and 2000, 42 patients experienced RCH after supratentorial neurosurgical procedures at our institution. Diagnoses were made on the basis of postoperative computed tomographic or magnetic resonance imaging findings in all cases. The medical records for these patients were reviewed and compared with those for a control cohort of 43 patients, matched for age, sex, surgical lesion, and type of craniotomy, who were treated during the same period. RESULTS: RCH most commonly occurred after frontotemporal craniotomies for unruptured aneurysm repair or temporal lobectomy and was frequently an incidental finding on postoperative computed tomographic scans. However, some cases of RCH were associated with significant morbidity, and two patients died. Preoperative aspirin use and elevated intraoperative systolic blood pressure were significantly associated with RCH (P = 0.026 and P = 0.036, respectively). Pathological findings for two cases demonstrated hemorrhagic infarctions in both. CONCLUSION: RCH most commonly follows supratentorial neurosurgical procedures, performed with the patient in the supine position, that involve opening of cerebrospinal fluid cisterns or the ventricular system (such as unruptured aneurysm repair or temporal lobectomy). Preoperative aspirin use and moderately elevated intraoperative systolic blood pressure are potentially modifiable risk factors associated with the development of RCH. Although RCH can cause death or major morbidity, most cases are asymptomatic or exhibit a benign course. Cerebellar "sag" as a result of cerebrospinal fluid hypovolemia, causing transient occlusion of superior bridging veins within the posterior fossa and consequent hemorrhagic venous infarction, is the most likely pathophysiological cause of RCH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1327-1340
Number of pages14
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Cerebellum
  • Intracranial hemorrhage
  • Remote hemorrhage
  • Supratentorial surgery
  • Venous infarction

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    Friedman, J. A., Piepgras, D. G., Duke, D. A., McClelland, R. L., Bechtle, P. S., Maher, C. O., Morita, A., Perkins, W. J., Parisi, J. E., Brown, R. D., Mayberg, M. R., Dacey, R. G., & Hodge, C. J. (2001). Remote cerebellar hemorrhage after supratentorial surgery. Neurosurgery, 49(6), 1327-1340.