Clipping versus coiling: neuropsychological follow up after aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH)

J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 2004 Nov;26(8):1081-92. doi: 10.1080/13803390490515342.


Patients treated with microsurgical clipping of ruptured intracranial aneurysms often suffer from neuropsychological deficits in spite of a good neurological outcome. The purpose of this study was to explore if the deficits are related to the type of therapy. Two groups of 16 patients each suffering from aneurysmal SAH, matched for sex, age, aneurysm-site and Hunt and Hess score, and 16 control subjects were examined with a battery of neuropsychological tests including memory, attention, and executive function. Depression, mood, and quality of life were also assessed. One patient group had been treated with surgical clipping, the other with endovascular coiling. Both patient groups showed deficits in verbal and visual memory. Clipped patients were slightly more impaired than coiled patients, especially on measures of affect and on a self-assessment measure of executive function. The pattern of results suggests that the neuropsychological outcome after aneurysmal SAH is affected by both the severity of the bleeding and the type of therapy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Affect / physiology
  • Aneurysm, Ruptured / complications
  • Aneurysm, Ruptured / psychology*
  • Aneurysm, Ruptured / surgery*
  • Attention / physiology
  • Cognition / physiology
  • Depression / etiology
  • Depression / psychology
  • Employment
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Intelligence Tests
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / complications
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / psychology*
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Neurosurgical Procedures*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Quality of Life
  • Social Behavior
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / psychology*
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vascular Surgical Procedures*