Objective: We sought to analyze the perioperative and long-term clinical outcome data for patients with microsurgically treated basilar apex aneurysms.
Methods: We identified 98 consecutively treated basilar apex aneurysms in patients prospectively enrolled in a cerebral aneurysm database.
Results: Fifty patients presented with subarachnoid hemorrhage, and 19 aneurysms were giant. Eighty-four of 98 aneurysms were directly clipped. Surgical morbidity was 19.4% for the entire cohort and 8.8% for the unruptured, nongiant subgroup. The most common complication resulting in long-term morbidity was perforator injury. Sixty-seven percent of patients with clipped aneurysms were independent at discharge; this fraction increased to 79.0% at the 3-month follow-up examination. Good long-term outcomes (modified Rankin Scale score < or =2) were achieved in 56 (70%) of 80 cases. The mean Barthel Index of surviving patients was 95.8 +/- 15.0 (median = 100, n = 66). Patients with unruptured, nongiant lesions fared considerably better than patients in other cohorts. Ninety-three percent of this subgroup was independent at discharge; this fraction increased to 100% at the 3-month follow-up examination (n = 27). In univariate analyses, poor clinical grade, giant aneurysm size, major operative complications, and operations performed early in the series were associated with worse outcomes. In the multivariate analysis, unruptured giant aneurysm status was found to confer a tremendous risk for poor outcome (risk ratio, 80.0; 95% confidence interval, 8.0-800.7; P < 0.01). Surviving patients were observed for a mean clinical follow-up period of 7.4 +/- 3.7 years. The annual rate of postoperative subarachnoid hemorrhage was 0.18% for all clipped aneurysms and 0% for completely clipped lesions.
Conclusion: In comparison to data from the existing literature regarding Guglielmi detachable coil embolization of basilar apex aneurysms, the data presented suggest that surgical clipping should be an important component of a multimodality approach to the treatment of patients with basilar apex aneurysms.