A cost-effectiveness analysis on different surgical strategies for intracranial aneurysms

P. Gaetani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Economical studies on surgery of intracranial aneurysms have considered only the significant benefit of surgical approach on unruptured aneurysms and no studies have been performed comparing cost/benefit analysis of early vs delayed surgery. The present study was retrospectively performed in order to verify whether different treatment options in aneurysm surgery have a different cost/benefit ratio. Methods. We have analysed a series of 137 patients which underwent surgery for intracranial aneurysms (21 unruptured aneurysms, 56 early surgery and 60 delayed surgery). In the analysis we assumed that each state of an operated patient has an assigned quality of life value and an associated medical cost. We expressed the outcome of each patient as the expected length of survival adjusted for quality, and referred to it as 'quality-adjusted life years' (QALY). We considered for each patient the direct cost of Hospitalisation (obtained from DRG reimbursement), the Rehabilitation cost and the correction due to QALY adjusted for age and deficit. Results. Significantly higher costs are reported in patients which present as major complication the hydrocephalus and which are treated with nimodipine; moreover, the costs for patients operated for unruptured aneurysms is significantly lower than that of patients which presented with SAH. Meanwhile, the average QALY adjusted for post-operative neurological deficit at three months follow-up is higher in patients operated for unruptured aneurysms than in patients operated after SAH. The cost-effectiveness of different treatment strategies did not significantly differ considering age and neurological deficit adjustment; thus, after SAH, the choice of early or delayed surgery may depend on clinical and logistic conditions related to the neurosurgical department and its organisation, because there is no significant economical advantage leading to recommend early versus delayed surgery. Conclusions. In conclusion the present data suggest that a decreased length of hospitalisation and a decreased cost for treatment of unruptured aneurysms should justify a more rigorous preventive screening with available non invasive neuroimaging techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-78
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neurosurgical Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1998


  • Cerebral aneurysm
  • Cost benefit analysis
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • Time factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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