Overall management of ruptured aneurysm: comparison of early and late operation

Neurosurgery. 1981 Aug;9(2):120-8. doi: 10.1227/00006123-198108000-00002.


The overall management results with 61 consecutive patients admitted within 3 days of subarachnoid hemorrhage from a ruptured intracranial aneurysm were analyzed. During the course of this study, the preferred method of management shifted from late surgery (planned at least 7 days after the last hemorrhage) to early surgery (within 4 days of the last hemorrhage). Ten moribund patients were excluded from analysis, leaving 24 in the late group and 27 in the early group. Both groups had comparable patient demographic characteristics and neurological conditions, and their care was supervised by one neurosurgeon (N.F.K.). A microsurgical intracranial operation was performed on all patients who survived long enough to have surgery. The intraoperative conditions and complications were similar for the two groups. The average length of follow-up was 11 months in the late and 9 months in the early group. The overall management results for the late group showed a 42% favorable outcome, a 17% unfavorable outcome, and a 42% mortality. The early group had an 81% favorable outcome, a 7% unfavorable outcome, and an 11% mortality. Patients in both good and poor conditions fared better in the early group. Seven late group patients rebled, compared to none in the early group. The number of medical complications, the length of hospitalization, and the occurrence of symptomatic vasospasm were all greater in the late group. Vasospasm in the early group occurred only postoperatively and, with the aneurysms secured, was treated more aggressively and successfully with hypertensive/hypervolemic therapy than the predominantly operative vasospasm in the late group.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / diagnosis
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / surgery*
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Rupture, Spontaneous
  • Time Factors