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Ruptured intracranial aneurysms: the outcome of surgical treatment in experienced hands in the period prior to the advent of endovascular coiling
  1. J Lafuente,
  2. R S Maurice-Williams
  1. Royal Free Hospital and School of Medicine, Pond Street, Hampstead, London NW3 2QG, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 J Lafuente
 FRCS, Flat 34, Norfolk House Regency street London SW1P4BD, UK;


Objectives: To evaluate the results of treatment of patients with a ruptured intracranial aneurysm treated by a single experienced vascular neurosurgeon in the period prior to the introduction of endovascular coiling.

Methods: Over a mean (SD) period of 9 (2) years, between January 1990 and June 1999, 245 consecutive patients with ruptured intracranial aneurysms were treated. Patients’ details were obtained from a database that had been constructed prospectively. The patients consisted of all those patients treated by the senior author (Mr Maurice-Williams) over this period—that is, every third day on call at his unit. During this period, all patients under the age of 75 years with a diagnosis of subarachnoid haemorrhage were admitted to the neurosurgical unit as soon as was practicable regardless of clinical grade.

Results: Of 245 patients, 190 (77.6%) underwent treatment by open surgery using standard microsurgical techniques. At 1 year, the mortality of the operated patients was 2.6%, while 89.5% of the patients had a Glasgow Outcome Score (GOS) of 4 and 5. The overall management outcome (all patients treated, including operated and non-operated cases) at 1 year was: 17.1 % dead while 74.3% had GOS 4 and 5. Of the 190 patients who underwent surgery, 38 (20%) required additional operations, totalling 72 operations in all. Of these, 32 were for hydrocephalus and 17 for the evacuation of intracranial haematomas/collections. Complications of surgery occurred in 56 patients (29.5%).

Conclusion: Open surgery, despite good eventual results, is associated with a significant rate of re-operations and complications that would probably be largely avoided with endovascular treatment. Nevertheless, although endovascular coiling has these immediate advantages over surgery it is still not certain that the long term results will be superior to surgery which leads to permanent obliteration of the aneurysm. There may still be a need for open surgery in the future.

  • intracranial aneurysms/results of treatment
  • subarachnoid haemorrhage
  • coiling
  • aneurysm surgery
  • ruptured intracranial aneurysms
  • CT, computed tomography
  • GOS, Glasgow Outcome Score

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  • Competing interest: none

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