Microsurgical treatment of ruptured aneurysms beyond 72 hours after rupture: implications for advanced management

Acta Neurochirurgica (2022) 164:2431–2439

Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) patients admitted to primary stroke centers are often transferred to neurosurgical and endovascular services at tertiary centers. The effect on microsurgical outcomes of the resultant delay in treatment is unknown. We evaluated microsurgical aSAH treatment > 72 h after the ictus.

Methods All aSAH patients treated at a single tertiary center between August 1, 2007, and July 31, 2019, were retrospectively reviewed. The additional inclusion criterion was the availability of treatment data relative to time of bleed. Patients were grouped based on bleed-to-treatment time as having acute treatment (on or before postbleed day [PBD] 3) or delayed treatment (on or after PBD 4). Propensity adjustments were used to correct for statistically significant confounding covariables.

Results Among 956 aSAH patients, 92 (10%) received delayed surgical treatment (delayed group), and 864 (90%) received acute endovascular or surgical treatment (acute group). Reruptures occurred in 3% (26/864) of the acute group and 1% (1/92) of the delayed group (p = 0.51). After propensity adjustments, the odds of residual aneurysm (OR = 0.09; 95% CI = 0.04–0.17; p < 0.001) or retreatment (OR = 0.14; 95% CI = 0.06–0.29; p < 0.001) was significantly lower among the delayed group. The OR was 0.50 for rerupture, after propensity adjustments, in the delayed setting (p = 0.03). Mean Glasgow Coma Scale scores at admission in the acute and delayed groups were 11.5 and 13.2, respectively (p < 0.001).

Conclusions Delayed microsurgical management of aSAH, if required for definitive treatment, appeared to be noninferior with respect to retreatment, residual, and rerupture events in our cohort after adjusting for initial disease severity and significant confounding variables.