Intraoperative factors associated with surgical outcome in patients with unruptured cerebral aneurysms: The experience of a single surgeon

Arthur A. Grigorian, Alvin Marcovici, Eugene S. Flamm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Object. Some well-known predictors of clinical outcomes in patients with ruptured aneurysms are not useful for forecasting outcome in patients with unruptured aneurysms. The goal of this study was to analyze outcomes in patients harboring unruptured cerebral aneurysms in different locations and to create a predictive tool for assessing both favorable outcome and morbidity in a large series of unruptured aneurysms. Methods. The authors analyzed data from 387 patients with nonruptured intracranial cerebral aneurysms who underwent surgery for clip placement. Intraoperative data were reviewed and seven factors that might influence outcomes were identified. These included the following: 1) aneurysm size larger than 10 mm; 2) presence of a broad aneurysm neck; 3) presence of plaque calcification near the aneurysm neck; 4) application of clips to more than one aneurysm during the same surgery; 5) temporary occlusion; 6) multiple clip applications and repositioning; and 7) use of multiple clips. The entire group of patients with unruptured aneurysms was divided into two subgroups on the basis of outcome. Each patient was subsequently assessed to formulate the factor accumulation index (FAI), the sum of different factors observed in a given patient. The subgroup of patients with expected outcomes was composed of 312 patients, whereas the subgroup of unexpected outcomes consisted of 31 patients. Depending on the anatomical locations of the aneurysms, the combined mortality-morbidity rate ranged from 5.7 to 25%, with the best results for patients harboring ophthalmic artery aneurysms and the worst results for those with vertebrobasilar system (VBS) aneurysms. The majority of patients with expected outcomes who harbored aneurysms of the middle cerebral artery, the internal carotid artery, and the VBS had a lower FAI, whereas the majority of patients with unexpected outcomes had a higher FAI. Conclusions. It is possible to predict outcomes in patients with unruptured cerebral artery aneurysms by calculating the FAI. The rate of postoperative morbidity increases with the FAI within the range of three to four factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)452-457
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Cerebral aneurysm
  • Morbidity
  • Surgical outcome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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