Acute operation and preventive nimodipine improve outcome in patients with ruptured cerebral aneurysms

Neurosurgery. 1984 Jul;15(1):57-66. doi: 10.1227/00006123-198407000-00011.


Sixty-five patients with ruptured aneurysms were operated upon within 48 to 72 hours after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) and were treated with a regimen of intra- and postoperative nimodipine for the prevention of symptomatic vasospasm. The clinical grading (Hunt and Hess) was I to III in 49 patients and IV or V in 16. The SAH was mild in 15 patients, moderate in 27, and severe in 23; 12 patients harbored an intracerebral hematoma, and 6 had intraventricular bleeding. Acute hydrocephalus was observed on preoperative computed tomography (CT) in 19 patients. On CT 3 days postoperatively (i.e., Day 3-4 after SAH), 30 of 65 patients still had subarachnoid blood; however, severe symptomatic vasospasm as the deciding threatening event during the delayed postoperative period was not encountered in this series. Transient symptoms of ischemia were noted in 2 patients (3%) and were accompanied by angiographic spasm in 1. Irreversible neurological deficit occurred in 2 patients (3%); in 1 of these, it was a complication of postoperative control angiography. Of the patients preoperatively graded I or II, 96% had an excellent to fair outcome 6 months postoperatively, and 1 patient (4%) had died because of a surgical complication. Among patients preoperatively graded III or IV, 86% had an excellent to fair outcome, and the remaining 14% had a poor outcome. Shunt-dependent hydrocephalus developed in 7% of the patients. Acute surgical repair of ruptured cerebral aneurysms and preventive topical and intravenous administration of nimodipine reduce management complications and improve outcome; above all, ischemic lesions from symptomatic vasospasm are reduced to a minimum.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / complications*
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / therapy
  • Intraoperative Complications / prevention & control
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / prevention & control*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nicotinic Acids / therapeutic use*
  • Nimodipine
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control
  • Rupture, Spontaneous
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / therapy*
  • Time Factors


  • Nicotinic Acids
  • Nimodipine