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Sunil A. Sheth, Daniel Hausrath, Adam L. Numis, Michael T. Lawton and S. Andrew Josephson

Object

Intraoperative rerupture during open surgical clipping of cerebral aneurysms in subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is a relatively frequent and potentially catastrophic occurrence. Patients who suffer rerupture have been shown to have worse outcomes at discharge compared with those who do not have rerupture. Perioperative injury likely plays a large part in the clinical worsening of these patients. However, due to the increased vessel manipulation and repeat exposure to acute hemorrhage, it is possible that secondary injury from increased incidence of vasospasm also contributes. Identifying an increased rate of vasospasm in these patients would justify early aggressive treatment with measures to prevent delayed cerebral ischemia. The authors investigated whether patients who suffer intraoperative rerupture during surgical treatment of ruptured cerebral aneurysms are at increased risk of developing vasospasm.

Methods

Five hundred consecutive patients treated with open surgical clipping for SAH were reviewed, and clinical and imaging data were collected. Angiographic vasospasm was defined as vessel narrowing believed to be consistent with vasospasm on angiography. Symptomatic vasospasm was defined as angiographic vasospasm in the setting of a clinical change attributable to vasospasm. Rates of angiographic and symptomatic vasospasm among patients with and without intraoperative rerupture were compared.

Results

There were no significant differences between the groups with and without rupture with respect to age, sex, modified Fisher grade, history of hypertension, or smoking. The group with intraoperative rupture had more patients with Hunt and Hess Grade I. Angiographic vasospasm was noted in 279 (66%) of the 425 patients without rerupture compared with 49 (65%) of the 75 patients with rerupture (p = 1.0, Fisher's exact test). Symptomatic vasospasm was noted in 154 (36%) of the 425 patients without rerupture, compared with 31 (41%) of the 75 patients with rerupture (p = 0.44, Fisher's exact test). In multivariate analysis, higher modified Fisher grade was significantly predictive of vasospasm, whereas older age and male sex were protective.

Conclusions

This study found no significant influence of intraoperative rerupture during open surgical clipping on the rate of angiographic or symptomatic vasospasm. Brief exposure to acute hemorrhage and vessel manipulation associated with rerupture events did not affect the rate of vasospasm. Risk of vasospasm was related to increased modified Fisher grade, and inversely related to age and male sex. These results do not justify early, targeted vasospasm therapy in patients with intraoperative rerupture.