Subarachnoid hemorrhage after surgical treatment of unruptured intracranial aneurysms

J Neurosurg 129:490–497, 2018

Only a few previous studies have investigated subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) after surgical treatment in patients with unruptured intracranial aneurysms (UIAs). Given the improvement in long-term outcomes of embolization, more extensive data are needed concerning the true rupture rates after microsurgery in order to provide reliable information for treatment decisions. The purpose of this study was to investigate the incidence of and risk factors for postoperative SAH in patients with surgically treated UIAs.

METHODS Data from 702 consecutive patients harboring 852 surgically treated UIAs were evaluated. Surgical treatments included neck clipping (complete or incomplete), coating/wrapping, trapping, proximal occlusion, and bypass surgery. Clippable UIAs were defined as UIAs treated by complete neck clipping. The annual incidence of postoperative SAH and risk factors for SAH were studied using Kaplan-Meier survival analysis and Cox proportional hazards regression models.

RESULTS The patients’ median age was 64 years (interquartile range [IQR] 56–71 years). Of 852 UIAs, 767 were clippable and 85 were not. The mean duration of follow-up was 731 days (SD 380 days). During 1708 aneurysm years, there were 4 episodes of SAH, giving an overall average annual incidence rate of 0.23% (95% CI 0.12%–0.59%) and an average annual incidence rate of 0.065% (95% CI 0.0017%–0.37%) for clippable UIAs (1 episode of SAH, 1552 aneurysmyears). Basilar artery location (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 23, 95% CI 2.0–255, p = 0.0012) and unclippable UIA status (adjusted HR 15, 95% CI 1.1–215, p = 0.046) were significantly related to postoperative SAH. An excellent outcome (modified Rankin Scale score of 0 or 1) was achieved in 816 (95.7%) of 852 cases overall and in 748 (98%) of 767 clippable UIAs at 12 months.

CONCLUSIONS In this large case series, microsurgical treatment of UIAs was found to be safe and effective. Aneurysm location and unclippable morphologies were related to postoperative SAH in patients with surgically treated UIAs.