Middle meningeal artery (MMA) embolization has been proposed as a minimally invasive treatment for chronic subdural hematoma (cSDH). The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis is to compare outcomes after MMA embolization versus conventional management for cSDH. We performed a systematic review of PubMed, Embase, Oxford Journal, Cochrane, and Google Scholar databases from April 1987 to October 2020 in accordance with PRISMA guidelines. Studies reporting outcomes after MMA embolization for ≥3 patients with cSDH were included. A meta-analysis comparing MMA embolization with conventional management was performed. The analysis comprised 20 studies with 1416 patients, including 718 and 698 patients in the MMA embolization and conventional management cohorts, respectively. The pooled recurrence, surgical rescue, and in-hospital complication rates in the MMA embolization cohort were 4.8% (95% CI 3.2% to 6.5%), 4.4% (2.8% to 5.9%), and 1.7% (0.8% to 2.6%), respectively. The pooled recurrence, surgical rescue, and in-hospital complication rates in the conventional management cohort were 21.5% (0.6% to 42.4%), 16.4% (5.9% to 27.0%), and 4.9% (2.8% to 7.1%), respectively. Compared with conservative management, MMA embolization was associated with lower rates of cSDH recurrence (OR=0.15 (95% CI 0.03 to 0.75), p=0.02) and surgical rescue (OR=0.21 (0.07 to 0.58), p=0.003). In-hospital complication rates were comparable between the two cohorts (OR=0.78 (0.34 to 1.76), p=0.55). MMA embolization is a promising minimally invasive therapy that may reduce the need for surgical intervention in appropriately selected patients with cSDH. Additional prospective studies are warranted to determine the long-term durability of MMA embolization, refine eligibility criteria, and establish this endovascular approach as a viable definitive treatment for cSDH.
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