The International Cooperative Study on the Timing of Aneurysm Surgery evaluated the results of surgical and medical management in 3521 patients between December, 1980, and July, 1983. At admission, 75% of patients were in good neurological condition and surgery was performed in 83%. At the 6-month evaluation, 26% of the patients had died and 58% exhibited a complete recovery. Vasospasm and rebleeding were the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in addition to the initial bleed. Predictors for mortality included the patient's decreased level of consciousness and increased age, thickness of the subarachnoid hemorrhage clot on computerized tomography, elevated blood pressure, preexisting medical illnesses, and basilar aneurysms. The results presented here document the status of management in the 1980's.