Objective: Intraoperative rupture (IOR) of an aneurysm is a known risk in the surgical management of intracranial aneurysms. The purpose of this study was to determine the incidence of IOR in a modern surgical series and to assess which factors bear upon it.
Methods: This study retrospectively examined 1269 patients with saccular aneurysms treated surgically between 1986 and 1998. Three vascular neurosurgeons performed 1435 operations on 1694 aneurysms. Multiple factors, including the magnitude and time of occurrence of IOR, aneurysm location, subarachnoid hemorrhage, timing of surgery, and use of temporary occlusion, were analyzed.
Results: There were 113 instances of IOR (7.9% per surgery; 6.7% per aneurysm; 8.9% per patient). If the 59 "minor leaks" are excluded (as in previously published reports), the incidence becomes 3.8% per surgery, 3.2% per aneurysm, and 4.3% per patient. Posteroinferior cerebellar artery and anterior and posterior communicating artery aneurysms were more liable to rupture intraoperatively. The IOR rate was greater in ruptured than unruptured aneurysms (10.7 versus 1.2%, P < 0.0001). There was a lower rate of IOR in operations using temporary arterial occlusion (3.1 versus 8.6%, P < 0.0001). The occurrence of IOR for early surgery was not significantly higher than for surgery performed more than 3 days after subarachnoid hemorrhage (11.1 versus 10.0%, P = 0.6234).
Conclusion: The rate of significant IOR can be kept low. Aneurysm location, subarachnoid hemorrhage, and temporary arterial occlusion seem to be important factors affecting the incidence of IOR.