An evaluation of the SAFIRE grading scale as a predictor of long-term outcomes for patients in the Barrow Ruptured Aneurysm Trial

J Neurosurg. 2021 Jan 15;135(4):1067-1071. doi: 10.3171/2020.7.JNS193431.


Objective: The SAFIRE grading scale is a novel, computable scale that predicts the outcome of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) patients in acute follow-up. However, this scale also may have prognostic significance in long-term follow-up and help guide further management.

Methods: The records of all patients enrolled in the Barrow Ruptured Aneurysm Trial (BRAT) were retrospectively reviewed, and the patients were assigned SAFIRE grades. Outcomes at 1 year and 6 years post-aSAH were analyzed for each SAFIRE grade level, with a poor outcome defined as a modified Rankin Scale score > 2. Univariate analysis was performed for patients with a high SAFIRE grade (IV or V) for odds of poor outcome at the 1- and 6-year follow-ups.

Results: A total of 405 patients with confirmed aSAH enrolled in the BRAT were analyzed; 357 patients had 1-year follow-up, and 333 patients had 6-year follow-up data available. Generally, as the SAFIRE grade increased, so did the proportion of patients with poor outcomes. At the 1-year follow-up, 18% (17/93) of grade I patients, 22% (20/92) of grade II patients, 32% (26/80) of grade III patients, 43% (38/88) of grade IV patients, and 75% (3/4) of grade V patients were found to have poor outcomes. At the 6-year follow-up, 29% (23/79) of grade I patients, 24% (21/89) of grade II patients, 38% (29/77) of grade III patients, 60% (50/84) of grade IV patients, and 100% (4/4) of grade V patients were found to have poor outcomes. Univariate analysis showed that a SAFIRE grade of IV or V was associated with a significantly increased risk of a poor outcome at both the 1-year (OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.5-4.2; p < 0.001) and 6-year (OR 3.7, 95% CI 2.2-6.2; p < 0.001) follow-ups.

Conclusions: High SAFIRE grades are associated with an increased risk of a poor recovery at late follow-up.

Keywords: BRAT; SAFIRE; grading scale; ruptured aneurysm; vascular disorders.