✓ The effect of clot removal on cerebral vasospasm was studied in 104 patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). The series included patients who fulfilled all of the following criteria: operation was performed by Day 3 after the ictus; the patient's preoperative clinical grade was between Grades I and IV; there was no rebleeding; computerized tomography (CT) showed only SAH; and carotid angiograms were performed by Day 2 and repeated between Days 7 and 9. Both the degree of SAH on CT and angiographic vasospasm were graded from 0 to III. The relationship of the SAH grade in the basal frontal interhemispheric fissure (IHF) to the presence of vasospasm at the A2 segments of the anterior cerebral artery and the relationship of the SAH grade in the sylvian stems to the presence of vasospasm at the M1 segments of the middle cerebral artery were analyzed.
Correlation of preoperative and postoperative SAH grades with the angiographic vasospasm grades, with the incidence of symptomatic vasospasm, and with the low-density area on CT could be found in the A2 and M1 territories. Decrease of cisternal blood measured by CT after the operation did not relate directly to the reduction of vasospasm. When the SAH was Grade II or III in the basal frontal IHF, the angiographic vasospasm grades at the A2 were significantly lower in patients with surgery via the interhemispheric approach than in those with surgery via the pterional approach. Symptomatic vasospasm occurred in two of the eight cases operated on by the interhemispheric approach compared with 11 of the 22 cases approached via the pterional route. In patients with a pterional approach, there was no significant difference in severity of vasospasm in the M1 territory between the side of approach and the opposite side. No consistent relationship could be found between the time interval from SAH to operation and the severity of vasospasm. While clot removal may ameliorate cerebral vasospasm, its effect per se does not seem to be significant.