Craniotomies following acute traumatic brain injury in Finland—a national study between 1997 and 2018

Nea Nevalainen, Teemu M. Luoto, Grant L. Iverson, Ville M. Mattila, Tuomas T. Huttunen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Background: A number of patients who sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) require surgical intervention due to acute intracranial bleeding. The aim of this retrospective study was to assess the national trends of acute craniotomies following TBI in the Finnish adult population. Methods: The data were collected retrospectively from the Finnish Care Register for Health Care (1997–2018). The study cohort covered all first-time registered craniotomies following TBI in patients aged 18 years or older. A total of 7627 patients (median age = 59 years, men = 72%) were identified. Results: The total annual incidence of acute trauma craniotomies decreased by 33%, from 8.6/100,000 in 1997 to 5.7/100,000 in 2018. The decrease was seen in both genders and all age groups, as well as all operation subgroups (subdural hematoma, SDH; epidural hematoma, EDH; intracerebral hematoma, ICH). The greatest incidence rate of 15.4/100,000 was found in patients 70 years or older requiring an acute trauma craniotomy. The majority of surgeries were due to an acute SDH and the patients were more often men. The difference between genders decreased with age (18–39 years = 84% men, 40–69 = 78% men, 70 + years = 55% men). The median age of the patients increased from 58 to 65 years during the 22-year study period. Conclusions: The number of trauma craniotomies is gradually decreasing; nonetheless, the incidence of TBI-related craniotomies remains high among geriatric patients. Further studies are needed to determine the indications and derive evidence-based guidelines for the neurosurgical care of older adults with TBIs to meet the challenges of the growing elderly population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)625–633
JournalActa Neurochirurgica
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Craniotomy
  • Epidemiology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Traumatic brain injury

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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