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Functional outcome and quality of life after angiography and operation for unruptured intracranial aneurysms
  1. Theodora W M Raaymakers on behalf of the MARS Study Group (Members of the MARS Study Group are listed in the )
  1. Department of Neurology, H2.128 University Hospital Utrecht Heidelberglaan 100, 3584 CX Utrecht, the Netherlands
  1. Dr T W M (Dianne) Raaymakers t.w.m.raaymakers{at}


OBJECTIVES To assess outcome after elective treatment for unruptured intracranial aneurysms.

METHODS Of 193 consecutive patients with subarachnoid haemorrhage 626 first degree relatives (parents, siblings, children) were screened with magnetic resonance angiography. Subsequently, 18 relatives underwent elective angiography and operation. Outcome was assessed in terms of impairments (neurological examination), disabilities (Barthel index), handicaps (Rankin scale), and quality of life (sickness impact profile (SIP) and short form-36 (SF-36)) 3 months and 1 year after operation; it was compared with baseline measurements.

RESULTS Before angiography all patients had a normal neurological examination, optimal Barthel and Rankin scores, and a quality of life similar to that in a reference population. Three months postoperatively five patients (28%; 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 10–54%) had neurological impairments (one after angiography), two (11%; 95% CI 1–35%) had a decrease in Barthel index, and 15 (83%; 95% CI 59–96%) had suboptimal Rankin scores (none was dependent in daily living). Quality of life (SIP and SF-36) was reduced for most domains. After 1 year, five patients still had neurological impairments, all had an optimal Barthel index, and eight (47%; 95% CI 23–72%) had suboptimal Rankin scores. Quality of life returned to baseline levels for all SIP and most SF-36 domains.

CONCLUSIONS Treatment of unruptured aneurysms has a considerable short term negative impact on functional health and quality of life in most patients, despite the low rate of impairments. Outcome improves markedly but not completely within 1 year after operation.

  • aneurysm
  • angiography
  • surgery
  • quality of life
  • outcome

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