Management Results Attained by Predominantly Late Surgery for Intracranial Aneurysms

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IN CONTRAST TO previous studies conducted by various authors, who recommended early surgery for all patients admitted to the hospital within 72 hours of an aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage, several more recent studies have declined to advise early surgery for the treatment of patients with impaired consciousness. In our series, early surgery was undertaken for patients who were rated at Grades 1 to 2 (Hunt and Hess) at admission and who did not exhibit any additional risk factors (e.g., evidence of incipient vasospasm, giant aneurysm, unfavorable aneurysm location, or a severe concomitant disease). Only three patients rated Grade 3 at admission with a favorable aneurysm location and shape underwent early surgery. The management results attained in this series (n = 131), in which the early surgery rate was 17%, have been analyzed. The management mortality rate of patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage was 13%, and it was 7.7% for patients admitted at Grades 1 to 3 on the Hunt and Hess scale. Good results (Glasgow Outcome Scale, 1 or 2) were attained in 75% of the entire study population, in 85% of patients admitted at Grades 1 to 3, and in 53% of those patients who were admitted at Grades 4 to 5 and who underwent late surgery after their condition had improved to Grades 1 to 3. At an average interval of 3 years after the operation, 83% of the patients discharged with Glasgow Outcome Scale ratings of 1 or 2 reported no significant restriction of their “stress resistance.” Of those patients who had worked preoperatively, 59% were working in the same occupation after this period of time; 20% were working in another, usually less demanding, occupation; and 20% had retired. Our results show that better management results can be obtained with a strategy envisaging individual therapeutic planning than with a predominantly schematic approach.

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