Objective: Industrialized countries are facing a rapid increase of their senior populations. Consequently, the number of elderly patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage is increasing. The purpose of this study was to assess the results of surgical repair for ruptured aneurysm in elderly patients.
Methods: We retrospectively investigated elderly patients (ages 70-89 yr) who were undergoing surgical treatment for ruptured aneurysm during the 15-year period 1988 to 2002 and compared patients in the 8th and 9th decades of life. Generally, patients were treated surgically within 72 hours after ictus.
Results: Of the total of 2835 patients, there were 509 patients (18.0% of total patients) in the 8th decade and 99 patients (3.5%) in the 9th decade of life. Because data were incomplete and patients who received ventricular drainage or ventriculoperitoneal shunt without aneurysmal repair were excluded, 449 and 89 patients in the 8th and 9th decades of life, respectively, were analyzed. No differences in sex, preoperative grade, preoperative computed tomographic findings, location of aneurysm, and aneurysm size were observed between the two decades. Preoperative grade and computed tomographic findings were predictors of favorable outcomes in the 8th and 9th decades. Patient age was a significant predictor of outcome in the 8th but not in the 9th decade.
Conclusion: To the best of our knowledge, this study is the largest series of its kind to date. Advanced age alone does not exclude adequate surgical repair in patients with aneurysmal rupture in the 9th decade of life.