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Cerebral vasospasm is the most important cause of morbidity after an aneurysm clipping in the early postoperative period. The aim of this retrospective study was to evaluate whether the incidence of vasospasms differs when using propofol or desflurane for an emergent aneurysm clipping.The data from 102 patients (50 in the propofol group, 52 in the desflurane group) were analyzed. The occurrence of vasospasm based on daily transcranial Doppler, angiography, and cerebral infarction during 14 days after surgery were compared by anesthetic agents. Postoperative data including Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score on day 14 after surgery, and the Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) score at 3 months were documented.Patients that intraoperatively received propofol for anesthesia maintenance, had higher incidence of transcranial Doppler (TCD)-evident vasospasm than those that received desflurane (54% vs 30.8%, P = .027). The occurrence of TCD-evident vasospasm was still higher (odds ratio: 2.84; 95% confidence interval: 1.12–7.20) in the propofol group than in the desflurane group after adjusting for confounding factors. However, the incidence of angiographic vasospasm, cerebral infarction, and interventions to treat cerebral vasospasms were similar between both groups. GCS score on day 14 after surgery and the GOS score at 3 months were similar between groups.No effect of anesthetic agents on angiographic vasospasm, cerebral infarction, or clinical outcome was observed, whereas desflurane anesthesia was associated with a lower incidence of TCD-evident vasospasms compared to propofol anesthesia. Our study provides a basis for further randomized controlled studies in a larger patient population to clarify the effects of anesthetic agents on the occurrence of cerebral vasospasms.