Background: The treatment of ruptured posterior circulation aneurysms remains challenging despite progresses in the endovascular and neurosurgical techniques.
Objective: To provide epidemiological characterization of subjects presenting with ruptured posterior circulation aneurysms in Switzerland and thereby assessing the treatment patterns and neurological outcomes.
Methods: This is a retrospective analysis of the Swiss SOS registry for patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. Patients were divided in 3 groups (upper, lower, and middle third) according to aneurysm location. Clinical, radiological, and treatment-related variables were identified and their impact on the neurological outcome was determined.
Results: From 2009 to 2014, we included 264 patients with ruptured posterior circulation aneurysms. Endovascular occlusion was the most common treatment in all 3 groups (72% in the upper third, 68% in the middle third, and 58.8% in the lower third). Surgical treatment was performed in 11.3%. Favorable outcome (mRS ≤ 3) was found in 56% at discharge and 65.7% at 1 year. No significant difference in the neurological outcome were found among the three groups, in terms of mRS at discharge (p = 0.20) and at 1 year (p = 0.18). High WFNS grade, high Fisher grade at presentation, and rebleeding before aneurysm occlusion (p = 0.001) were all correlated with the risk of unfavorable neurological outcome (or death) at discharge and at 1 year.
Conclusions: In this study, endovascular occlusion was the principal treatment, with a favorable outcome for two-thirds of patients at discharge and at long term. These results are similar to high volume neurovascular centers worldwide, reflecting the importance of centralized care at specialized neurovascular centers.
Keywords: Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage; Endovascular procedures; Hydrocephalus; Intracranial aneurysms; Intracranial vasospasm; Posterior circulation; Ruptured aneurysms.