Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary The authors report a series of 37 cases of unruptured aneurysms, admitted and operated upon over a 5 year period (1985–1990), which represents an incidence of 18% of the total number of aneurysm patients operated upon during this period. These unruptured aneurysms were discovered in 4 types of circumstances: 1) Associated with a ruptured aneurysm but treated in a second procedure (9 cases); 2) After a transient ischaemic attack (6 cases); 3) After a cerebral haemorrhage of a different origin (3 cases), 4) After the onset of various neurological symptoms other than SAH (19 cases). Giant aneurysms (over 2.5 cm in diameter) are excluded from this series. Overall these 37 patients harboured 52 aneurysms, and 1 patient was operated upon on both sides. 27 aneurysms (52%) were located on the right side, 15 (29%) on the left side, and 10 (19%) on the midline. In the immediate post operative period, 1 patient died (2.6%) and 8 patients (21%) presented various complications. The outcome at 6 months was: death 2.6%, moderately disabled 8%, good recovery 89%. The arguments in favour of, or against, the surgical treatment of unruptured aneurysms are discussed in view of the literature. In favour of prophylactic surgery are: 1) The rather poor overall outcome following aneurysm rupture (including deaths before admission); 2) The rather good outcome of surgery in published series of unruptured aneurysms. The data of the natural history of the unruptured aneurysm are more questionable: in this view, surgery seems to be recommended in young patients with an easily accessible aneurysm and being in a good clinical condition. Several contra indications should be strictly accepted: severe associated diseases, age (over 65 and sometimes over 60), patient's refusal or reluctance. In cases of unruptured aneurysms to be operated upon in a second procedure after a ruptured aneurysm, the authors usually wait for 2 months or more before the second operation.
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