Cognition and adjustment after late and early operation for ruptured aneurysm

Neurosurgery. 1987 Sep;21(3):279-87. doi: 10.1227/00006123-198709000-00001.


Does early aneurysm operation, while lowering the overall management mortality, result in an unacceptable morbidity in terms of increased cognitive disturbances and psychosocial maladjustment? The present study evaluates quality of life, degree of cognitive dysfunction, and adjustment of 93 patients with satisfactory neurological recoveries after operations for ruptured supratentorial aneurysms. All patients had been in neurological Grades I to III (Hunt and Hess) after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Fifty-five patients were operated upon during the acute state, i.e., within 72 hours after bleeding (early surgery = ES), and 38 patients had been subjected to late surgery (LS), i.e., were operated on 9 days or more after SAH. Each patient was subjected to a clinical interview and a comprehensive neuropsychological investigation. The time interval between SAH and assessment varied between 12 and 103 months (mean, 56 months). The results confirm that there are indication of cognitive malfunctioning and psychosocial disturbances of varying severity and distribution in patients who have undergone LS. The pattern and distribution of sequelae after LS did not differ substantially from that in patients subjected to ES. The results offer strong support to the concept that remaining disturbances in cognition are mainly related to the impact of the initial hemorrhage per se. In patients with anterior communicating artery aneurysms, a larger decrease in tempo and perceptual vigilance was noted, suggesting that the subfrontal midline structures are particularly involved in processes demanding flexibility, attention, and capacity to adapt to novel demands in a perceptual situation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cognition
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / psychology
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychology
  • Rupture, Spontaneous
  • Social Adjustment
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / psychology
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / surgery*
  • Time Factors