Intraoperative aneurysmal rupture: incidence, outcome, and suggestions for surgical management

Neurosurgery. 1986 Jun;18(6):701-7. doi: 10.1227/00006123-198606000-00004.


Intraoperative rupture of an intracranial arterial aneurysm can dramatically interrupt a deliberate microsurgical procedure and jeopardize the patient's chances for a favorable outcome. Intraoperative rupture occurred in 58 of 307 (19%) consecutive aneurysm procedures done at The University of Texas Health Science Center. Rupture occurred during three specific periods: early or predissection in 7%, dissection in 48%, and clip application in 45%. Outcome after rupture during the predissection interval was poor, with only 1 of 4 patients surviving. Aneurysmal rupture during dissection could be attributed to blunt dissection techniques in 75% of the cases and to sharp subarachnoid dissection in 25%. The outcome was favorable in only 50% of the patients sustaining blunt dissection errors, whereas all patients sustaining intraoperative rupture during sharp dissection recovered well. Rupture during clip application was attributed to incomplete dissection in 65%, poor clip application in 31%, and a mechanical clip failure in 1 case. Eighty-eight per cent of the patients who underwent uneventful operative procedures had favorable outcomes, whereas only 62% of the patients suffering intraoperative rupture recovered well. The use of sharp microsurgical techniques with a systematic contingency plan for dealing with sudden hemorrhage and the judicious use of temporary clips should minimize the adverse effect of intraoperative rupture on overall management morbidity and mortality.

MeSH terms

  • Dissection / instrumentation
  • Dissection / methods
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / etiology
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / mortality
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / surgery*
  • Intraoperative Complications
  • Rupture / surgery
  • Time Factors