Object: Our experience in Calgary was reviewed to determine the safety and clinical effectiveness of coiling in patients with high-grade aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH).
Methods: Patients with Hunt-Hess grades IV and V aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage who underwent endovascular coiling between January 1999 and April 2009 at Foothills Medical Centre, Calgary, Alberta, Canada were reviewed. The primary outcome measure was the Modified Rankin Score after at least six months. Secondary outcome measures included extent of aneurysm occlusion and peri-procedural complications. In patients with favourable functional outcomes, Barthel's Index (BI), Re-integration to normal living index (RINL), and Zung depression scale (ZDS) were determined.
Results: Thirty-three patients were identified (median age of 57 years; 73% female) and 69% were Hunt-Hess grade IV subarachnoid hemorrhage and 22 % were grade V. Endovascular coiling resulted in absence of residual flow into the aneurysm fundus in 91%. Only seven procedure-related complications occurred with no deaths attributed to the procedure. Vasospasm, hydrocephalus, and pneumonia were the most common non-procedural complications. Average follow-up was 27 +/- 17 months. Overall mortality was 32%, but 53% of patients had good functional outcome (mRS<3). Nine patients completed the BI, RINL, and ZDS with average BI 99 +/- 2, RINL 89 +/- 14, ZDS 33 +/- 11, suggesting minimal deficits in function and mood.
Conclusions: Endovascular coiling in patients with high-grade subarachnoid hemorrhage is safe. While the morbidity and mortality from high-grade aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage remains significant, favourable radiologic and functional outcomes can be achieved in a significant proportion of these critically ill patients.