David O. Wiebers, David G. Piepgras, Robert D. Brown Jr., Irene Meissner, James Torner, Neal F. Kassell, Jack P. Whisnant, John Huston III and Douglas A. Nichols
Vini G. Khurana, David G. Piepgras and Jack P. Whisnant
Object. The present study was conducted to estimate the frequency and timing of rebleeding after initial subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) from ruptured giant aneurysms.
Methods. The authors reviewed records of 109 patients who suffered an initial SAH from a giant aneurysm and were treated at the Mayo Clinic between 1973 and 1996. They represented 25% of patients with giant intracranial aneurysms seen at this institution during that 23-year period. Seven of the patients were residents of Rochester, Minnesota, and the rest were referred from other institutions. The aneurysms ranged from 25 to 60 mm in diameter, and 74% were located on arteries of the anterior intracranial circulation. The cumulative frequency of rebleeding at 14 days after admission was 18.4%. Cerebrospinal fluid drainage, cerebral angiography, and delayed aneurysm recurrence were implicated in rebleeding in some of the patients. Rebleeding was not precluded by intraaneurysm thrombosis. Among those who suffered recurrent SAH at the Mayo Clinic, 33% died in the hospital.
Conclusions. Rebleeding from giant aneurysms occurs at a rate comparable to that associated with smaller aneurysms, a finding that should be considered in management strategies.
David G. Piepgras, Vini G. Khurana and Jack P. Whisnant
Object. This retrospective study was made to determine the relationship between surgical timing and outcome in all patients with ruptured giant intracranial aneurysms undergoing surgical treatment at the Mayo Clinic between 1973 and 1996.
Methods. The authors studied 109 patients, 102 of whom were referred from other medical centers. The ruptured giant aneurysms were 25 to 60 mm in diameter. One hundred five of the patients survived the rupturing of the aneurysm to undergo operation, with direct surgery possible in 84% of cases. Excluding delayed referrals, the average time to surgery after admission to the Mayo Clinic was approximately 4 to 5 days. Patients admitted earlier tended to be in poorer condition, often undergoing earlier operation. On average, surgical treatment was administered later for patients with ruptured aneurysms of the posterior circulation than for those with aneurysms in the anterior circulation. Temporary occlusion of the parent vessel was necessary in 67% of direct procedures, with an average occlusion time of 15 minutes. Among surgically treated patients, a favorable outcome was achieved in 72% harboring ruptured anterior circulation aneurysms and in 78% with ruptured posterior circulation lesions.
Conclusions. The overall management mortality rate was 21.1%, and the mortality rate for surgical management was 8.6%. The authors believe that because of the technical difficulties and risk of rebleeding associated with ruptured giant intracranial aneurysms, timely referral to and well-planned treatment at medical centers specializing in management of these lesions are essential to effect a more favorable outcome.
Vini G. Khurana, David G. Piepgras and Jack P. Whisnant
The present study was conducted to estimate the frequency and timing of rebleeding after initial subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) from ruptured giant aneurysms.
The authors reviewed records of 109 patients who suffered an initial SAH from a giant aneurysm and were treated at the Mayo Clinic between 1973 and 1996. They represented 25% of patients with giant intracranial aneurysms seen at this institution during that 23-year period. Seven of the patients were residents of Rochester, Minnesota, and the rest were referred from other institutions. The aneurysms ranged from 25 to 60 mm in diameter, and 74% were located on arteries of the anterior intracranial circulation. The cumulative frequency of rebleeding at 14 days after admission was 18.4%. Cerebrospinal fluid drainage, cerebral angiography, and delayed aneurysm recurrence were implicated in rebleeding in some of the patients. Rebleeding was not precluded by intraaneurysm thrombosis. Among those who suffered recurrent SAH at the Mayo Clinic, 33% died in the hospital.
Rebleeding from giant aneurysms occurs at a rate comparable to that associated with smaller aneurysms, a finding that should be considered in management strategies.
Wouter I. Schievink, Eelco F. M. Wijdicks, David G. Piepgras, Chu-Pin Chu, W. Michael O'Fallon and Jack P. Whisnant
✓ The first 48 hours after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage are critical in determining final outcome. However, most patients who die during this initial period are not included in hospital-based studies. We investigated the occurrence of subarachnoid hemorrhage in a population-based study to evaluate possible predictors of poor outcome. All patients diagnosed with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage between 1955 and 1984 were selected for analysis of mortality in the first 30 days using the medical record—linkage system employed for epidemiological studies in Rochester, Minnesota. One hundred and thirty-six patients were identified. The mean age of these 99 women and 37 men was 55 years. Rates for survival to 48 hours were 32% for the 19 patients with posterior circulation aneurysms, 77% for the 87 patients with anterior circulation aneurysms, and 70% for the 30 patients with a presumed aneurysm (p < 0.0001). Rates for survival to 30 days were 11%, 57%, and 53%, respectively, in these three patient groups (p < 0.0001). Clinical grade on admission to the hospital, the main variable predictive of death within 48 hours, was significantly worse in patients with posterior circulation aneurysms than in others (p < 0.0001).
The prognosis of ruptured posterior circulation aneurysms is poor. The high early mortality explains why posterior circulation aneurysms are uncommon in most clinical series of patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage. The management of incidentally discovered intact posterior circulation aneurysms may be influenced by these findings.
Jack P. Whisnant, Sara E. Sacco, W. Michael O'Fallon, Nicolee C. Fode and Thoralf M. Sundt Jr.
✓ The objective of this study was to assess the effect of referral bias on survival in patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). The characteristics of 49 patients with aneurysmal SAH from a single community were compared with those of 328 patients referred from outside the community, all treated in the same medical care setting. In addition, referral patients who received surgery were compared by differential survival analysis with those still awaiting surgery at Days 1 to 3, Days 4 to 10, and Days 11 to 15.
There was a dramatic difference in the 30-day survival rate between referral patients (83%) and community patients (59%), but most of the difference had occurred by the 2nd day after SAH. In the referral patients, the variables present at first medical attention that were found to have an independent effect on survival were clinical grade, presence of coma, number of days from SAH to referral, diastolic blood pressure, and patient age. There was a higher survival rate at 1 year for patients who were surgically treated compared with those awaiting surgery for each of the three time periods. Patients who underwent early surgical treatment had a 1-year survival rate almost identical to that of patients with late surgery.
Referral patients had a better early survival rate than did community patients because the referral group did not include patients who died and some who were in poor clinical condition before the opportunity for referral. The differential survival analysis described provides a new method for estimating survival for treated and untreated patients with SAH.
John L. D. Atkinson, Thoralf M. Sundt Jr., O. Wayne Houser and Jack P. Whisnant
✓ A retrospective angiographic analysis was designed to extrapolate the frequency of angiographically defined asymptomatic intracranial aneurysms in the anterior circulation from a relatively unbiased clinical series. A total of 9295 angiograms were reviewed from January, 1980, to January, 1987, and, based on these, 278 patients with minimal bias for the presence of an aneurysm were selected. Three patients were found to have incidental aneurysms; thus, the angiographic frequency of patients with asymptomatic aneurysms in this series was 1%. This patient population is skewed toward the older age groups and probably over-represents the incidence of these aneurysms in the population at large. Comparing current subarachnoid hemorrhage statistics and the low frequency of asymptomatic aneurysms suggests that a larger percentage of these aneurysms than was previously thought subsequently rupture. This study contrasts sharply with previous reports quoting a high incidence of aneurysms, and significantly alters the concept and treatment of this disease.
David O. Wiebers, Jack P. Whisnant, Thoralf M. Sundt Jr. and W. Michael O'Fallon
✓ The authors report the results of a long-term follow-up study of 130 patients with 161 unruptured intracranial saccular aneurysms. Their findings suggest that unruptured saccular aneurysms less than 10 mm in diameter have a very low probability of subsequent rupture; The mean diameter of the aneurysms that subsequently ruptured was 21.3 mm, compared with a diameter of 7.5 mm for aneurysms defined after rupture at the same institution. Part of the explanation for this discrepancy may be that the size of the filling compartment of the aneurysm decreases after rupture. There is also evidence from the present study that intracranial saccular aneurysms develop with increasing age of the patient and stabilize over a relatively short period, if they do not initially rupture, and that the likelihood of subsequent rupture decreases considerably if the initial stabilized size is less than 10 mm in diameter. Consequently, the critical size for aneurysm rupture is likely to be smaller if rupture occurs at the time of or soon after aneurysm formation. There seems to be a substantial difference in potential for growth and rupture between previously ruptured and unruptured aneurysms.