Microsurgical clipping and endovascular management of unruptured anterior circulation aneurysms: how age, frailty, and comorbidity indexes influence outcomes

J Neurosurg 138:922–932, 2023

Frailty is one of the important factors in predicting the outcomes of surgery. Many surgical specialties have adopted a frailty assessment in the preoperative period for prognostication; however, there are limited data on the effects of frailty on the outcomes of cerebral aneurysms. The object of this study was to find the effect of frailty on the surgical outcomes of anterior circulation unruptured intracranial aneurysms (UIAs) and compare the frailty index with other comorbidity indexes.

METHODS A retrospective study was performed utilizing the National Inpatient Sample (NIS) database (2016–2018). The Hospital Frailty Risk Score (HFRS) was used to assess frailty. On the basis of the HFRS, the whole cohort was divided into low-risk (0–5), intermediate-risk (> 5 to 15), and high-risk (> 15) frailty groups. The analyzed outcomes were nonhome discharge, complication rate, extended length of stay, and in-hospital mortality.

RESULTS In total, 37,685 patients were included in the analysis, 5820 of whom had undergone open surgical clipping and 31,865 of whom had undergone endovascular management. Mean age was higher in the high-risk frailty group than in the low-risk group for both clipping (63 vs 55.4 years) and coiling (64.6 vs 57.9 years). The complication rate for open surgical clipping in the high-risk frailty group was 56.1% compared to 0.8% in the low-risk group. Similarly, for endovascular management, the complication rate was 60.6% in the high-risk group compared to 0.3% in the low-risk group. Nonhome discharges were more common in the high-risk group than in the low-risk group for both open clipping (87.8% vs 19.7%) and endovascular management (73.1% vs 4.4%). Mean hospital charges for clipping were $341,379 in the high-risk group compared to $116,892 in the low-risk group. Mean hospital charges for coiling were $392,861 in the high-risk frailty group and $125,336 in the low-risk group. Extended length of stay occurred more frequently in the highrisk frailty group than in the low-risk group for both clipping (82.9% vs 10.7%) and coiling (94.2% vs 12.7%). Frailty had higher area under the receiver operating characteristic curve values than those for other comorbidity indexes and age in predicting outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS Frailty affects surgical outcomes significantly and outperforms age and other comorbidity indexes in predicting outcome. It is imperative to include frailty assessment in preoperative planning.