Objective: Severe intracranial bleedings (SIBs) during endovascular procedures (EPs) are accompanied by acute intracranial hypertension and brain herniation signs. The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of urgent surgical management and its related patient outcome in cases with such a fatal complication.
Method: Medical records were reviewed retrospectively for the last 750 patients treated in our department in the past 12 years with acute non-traumatic intracranial bleeding, who underwent a diagnostic or therapeutic EP. Patients with a severe intra-procedural bleeding episode undergoing urgent surgical management (within 30 minutes after bleeding) were analysed.
Results: Fourteen of 750 patients with ruptured vascular malformations presented a new SIB during EP. In nine patients, this occurred during initial angiography, two during aneurysm coiling, two during balloon angioplasty and one during arteriovenous malformation (AVM) embolization. The neurological condition 6 months later was good (independents patients) in seven cases with only a mild disability in two of them. Two patients showed a severe disability. Four patients died without recovering their consciousness. One patient presented a satisfactorily course but died weeks later owing to a pulmonary embolism.
Conclusion: Despite the fatal spontaneous prognosis of severe intracranial bleeding occurring during endovascular diagnostic or therapeutic procedures, a favorable outcome can be expected if an appropriated treatment was set within 30 minutes of the bleeding.