Time course of recovery following poor-grade SAH: The incidence of delayed improvement and implications for SAH outcome study design

David A. Wilson, Peter Nakaji, Felipe C. Albuquerque, Cameron G. McDougall, Joseph M. Zabramski, Robert F. Spetzler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Object. Data regarding the time course of recovery after poor-grade subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is lacking. Most SAH studies assess outcome at a single time point, often as early as 3 or 6 months following SAH. The authors hypothesized that recovery following poor-grade SAH is a dynamic process and that early outcomes may not always approximate long-term outcomes. To test this hypothesis, they analyzed long-term outcome data from a cohort of patients with poor-grade aneurysmal SAH to determine the incidence and predictors of early and delayed neurological improvement. Methods. The authors reviewed outcome data from 88 poor-grade SAH patients enrolled in a prospective SAH treatment trial (the Barrow Ruptured Aneurysm Trial). They assessed modified Rankin Scale (mRS) scores at discharge, 6 months, 12 months, and 36 months after treatment to determine the incidence and predictors of neurological improvement during each interval. Results. The mean aggregate mRS scores at 6 months (3.31 ± 2.1), 12 months (3.28 ± 2.2), and 36 months (3.17 ± 2.3) improved significantly compared with the mean score at hospital discharge (4.33 ± 1.3, p < 0.001), but they did not differ significantly among themselves. Between discharge and 6 months, 61% of patients improved on the mRS. The incidence of improvement between 6-12 months and 12-36 months was 18% and 19%, respectively. Hunt and Hess Grade IV versus V (OR 6.20, 95% CI 2.11-18.25, p < 0.001) and the absence of large ( > 4 cm) (OR 2.76, 95% CI 1.02-7.55, p = 0.05) or eloquent (OR 5.17, 95% CI 1.89-14.10, p < 0.01) stroke were associated with improvement up to 6 months. Age ? 65 years (OR 5.56, 95% CI 1.17-26.42, p = 0.02), Hunt and Hess Grade IV versus V (OR 4.17, 95% CI 1.10-15.85, p = 0.03), and absence of a large (OR 8.97, 95% CI 2.65-30.40, p < 0.001) or eloquent (OR 4.54, 95% CI 1.46-14.08, p = 0.01) stroke were associated with improvement beyond 6 months. Improvement beyond 1 year was most strongly predicted by the absence of a large stroke (OR 7.62, 95% CI 1.55-37.30, p < 0.01). Conclusions. A substantial minority of poor-grade SAH patients will experience delayed recovery beyond the point at which most studies assess outcome. Younger patients, those presenting in better clinical condition, and those without CT evidence of large or eloquent stroke demonstrated the highest capacity for delayed recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)606-612
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Volume119
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cerebral aneurysm
  • Outcome
  • Poor-grade subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • Stroke
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • Vascular disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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