More than 10 years have passed since the two best-known clinical trials of ruptured aneurysms (International Subarachnoid Aneurysm Trial [ISAT] and Barrow Ruptured Aneurysm Trial [BRAT]) indicated that endovascular coiling (EC) was superior to surgical clipping (SC). However, in recent years, the development of surgical techniques has greatly improved; thus, it is necessary to reanalyze the impact of the differences in treatment modalities on the prognosis of patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH).
The authors retrospectively reviewed all aSAH patients admitted to their institution between January 2015 and December 2020. The functional outcomes at discharge and 90 days after discharge were assessed using the modified Rankin Scale (mRS). In-hospital complications, hospital charges, and risk factors derived from multivariate logistic regression were analyzed in the SC and EC groups after 1:1 propensity score matching (PSM). The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was used to calculate each independent predictor’s prediction ability between treatment groups.
A total of 844 aSAH patients were included. After PSM to control for sex, aneurysm location, Hunt and Hess grade, World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies (WFNS) grade, modified Fisher Scale grade, and current smoking and alcohol abuse status, 329 patients who underwent SC were compared with 329 patients who underwent EC. Patients who underwent SC had higher incidences of unfavorable discharge and 90-day outcomes (46.5% vs 33.1%, p < 0.001; and 19.6% vs 13.8%, p = 0.046, respectively), delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI) (31.3% vs 20.1%, p = 0.001), intracranial infection (20.1% vs 1.2%, p < 0.001), anemia (42.2% vs 17.6%, p < 0.001), hypoproteinemia (46.2% vs 21.6%, p < 0.001), and pneumonia (33.4% vs 24.9%, p = 0.016); but a lower incidence of urinary tract infection (1.2% vs 5.2%, p = 0.004) and lower median hospital charges ($12,285 [IQR $10,399–$15,569] vs $23,656 [IQR $18,816–$30,025], p < 0.001). A positive correlation between the number of in-hospital complications and total hospital charges was indicated in the SC (r = 0.498, p < 0.001) and EC (r = 0.411, p < 0.001) groups. The occurrence of pneumonia and DCI, WFNS grade IV or V, and age were common independent risk factors for unfavorable outcomes at discharge and 90 days after discharge in both treatment modalities.
EC shows advantages in discharge and 90-day outcomes, in-hospital complications, and the number of risk factors but increases the economic cost on patients during their hospital stay. Severe in-hospital complications such as pneumonia and DCI may have a long-lasting impact on the prognosis of patients.