Management of 350 aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhages in 22 Italian neurosurgical centers

Guiseppe Citerio, Sergio M. Gaini, Guistino Tomei, Nino Stocchetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To collect information on clinical practice and current management strategies in 22 Italian neurosurgical hospitals for patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. Design and setting: Observational 6-month study for prospective data collection. Patients: 350 cases of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. Measurements and results: Each center enrolled from 4-36 patients. Neurological deterioration (24%) was more frequent in patients with higher Fisher classification, and with pretreatment rebleeding and it was associated with an unfavorable outcome (46%, 36/78, vs. 33%, 83/251). Aneurysms were mainly secured by clipping (55%, 191/350). An endovascular approach was utilized in 35% (121/350). The more frequent medical complications were fever, recorded in one-half of cases, pneumonia (18%), sodium disturbances (hyponatremia 22%, hypernatremia 17%), cardiopulmonary events as neurogenic pulmonary edema (4%) and myocardial ischemia (5%). Intracranial hypertension was experienced in one-third of the patients, followed by hydrocephalus (29%) and vasospasm (30%). Cerebral ischemia was found in an about one-quarter of the cohort. To identify the independent predictors of outcome we developed a model in which the dichotomized Glasgow Outcome Scale was tested as function of extracranial and intracranial complications. Only high intracranial pressure and deterioration in neurological status were independent factors related to unfavorable outcome. Conclusions: Our data confirm that in every step of care there is extreme heterogeneity among centers. These patients are complex, with comorbidities, immediate risk of rebleeding, and delayed risk of intracranial and medical complications. Following SAH early treatment and careful intensive care management requires the careful coordination of the various clinical specialties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1580-1586
Number of pages7
JournalIntensive Care Medicine
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2007


  • Aneurysm
  • Clipping
  • Coiling
  • Outcome
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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