In this paper the authors' goal was to report on and examine (in the context of a large hospital with good endovascular intervention provisions) the activities of a neurosurgeon with a dedicated vascular interest in the era after the International Subarachnoid Aneurysm Trial in the United Kingdom. They also aimed to establish therapeutic trends and outcomes.
The authors reviewed the multidisciplinary team activity of 1 neurosurgeon and 2 interventional radiologists during a period of 22 months (2005–2007). They reviewed 281 aneurysm interventions; the majority was used to treat subarachnoid hemorrhage. Data analysis showed a strong preference for endovascular treatment for acute rupture (86.6 vs 13.4%), with a progressively greater role for open microsurgery in the more elective context (57% endovascular vs 43% surgical). They also reviewed 66 interventions for arteriovenous malformations, of which only 6 were surgical. These data are compared against a sample year from 2001 to 2002 (pre–International Subarachnoid Aneurysm Trial), showing comparable rates of surgically treated aneurysms versus endovascularly treated aneurysms, but an increase overall in the number of patients requiring open surgery.
The authors found that excellent outcomes for microsurgical clipping compared with endovascular therapy can be achieved within the current climate. These and previously published data strongly support a continuing role for vascular neurosurgery as a subspecialist interest in combination with a dedicated endovascular service and a multidisciplinary team.
Despite a trend to prefer coiling for ruptured aneurysms, the authors have shown that there is still a vital role for open surgery in the management of the ruptured and unruptured aneurysm. They consider the remaining role for surgery for arteriovenous malformations within the modern era of endovascular therapy.