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Eur J Neurol. 2002 Jul;9(4):389-99.

Cerebral vasospasm and ischaemic infarction in clipped and coiled intracranial aneurysm patients.

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Department of Anaesthesiology and General Intensive Care Medicine, University Hospital, Innsbruck, Austria.


The influence of the treatment modalities (clipping/coiling) on the incidence of vasospasm and ischaemic infarction in aneurysm patients is still judged controversially. The purpose of this study was to analyse and compare retrospectively cerebral vasospasm and ischaemic infarction, as well as neurological deficits and outcome within a large population of clipped and coiled patients with ruptured and unruptured aneurysms. Within a 2-year period, a total of 144 interventions (53 clipping/91 coiling) entered the study. Daily bilateral transcranial Doppler sonographic monitoring was performed to observe vasospasm development. All cerebral computed tomography (cCT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans were reviewed with respect to occurrence and localization of ischaemic infarctions. Focal neurological deficits were recorded and clinical outcome was evaluated using the Glasgow Outcome Scale. Statistical analysis included the use of multivariate logistic regression models to find determinants of vasospasm, ischaemic infarction and neurological deficits. Altogether, vasospasm was detected after 77 (53.5%) interventions, 61.8% in females (P < 0.01). Clipped patients significantly more often exhibited vasospasms (69.8 vs. 44.0%, P < 0.005) and were treated 1 week longer at the intensive care unit (P < 0.005). Seventy-seven patients (53.5%) developed ischaemic infarctions, 62.3% after clipping and 48.4% after coiling (P > 0.05). In the multivariate analysis, aneurysm-rupture was the strongest predictor for vasospasm and vasospasm was the strongest predictor for infarction. Neurological deficits at discharge (46.5%) were independent of treatment modality, the same applied for the mean Glasgow Outcome Scores. There was no significant difference in mortality between surgical and endovascular treatment (9.4 vs. 12.1%). Whilst the vasospasm incidence was significantly higher after surgical treatment, ischaemic infarctions were only slightly more frequent. The incidence of neurological deficits and clinical outcome was similar in both treatment groups.

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