Introduction There is an absence of widely accepted guidelines for the management of infectious intracranial aneurysms (IIAs) owing to a dearth of high-quality evidence in the literature.
Objective To better define the incidence of IIAs, treatment practices, and patient outcomes by performing a Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) database query.
Methods We queried the NIS database from 2002 to 2011 for all patients with the primary diagnosis of infectious endocarditis (IE), subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), or unruptured cerebral aneurysm by ICD-9-CM codes. ICD-9 procedure codes were used to identify patients undergoing neurosurgical or cardiothoracic procedures.
Results The query identified 393 patients with primary diagnosis of IE, SAH or unruptured cerebral aneurysm treated during 2002–2011. The mean age of the patients was 53.5 years; 244 (62%) were male. The majority of patients presented with SAH (361; 91.9%). Only 73 (18.6%) patients underwent neurosurgical coiling or clipping for IIA. Of patients undergoing a neurosurgical procedure, 65 had SAH (constituting only 18% of patients with SAH) and 8 had unruptured aneurysms (constituting only 25% patients with unruptured aneurysms). Cardiac procedures were performed in only 72/393 patients (18.3%) patients. Only 67 (18.6%) of the patients with SAH and 5 (15.6%) with unruptured aneurysms underwent a cardiac corrective surgical procedure. Mortality was significantly higher in those patients managed conservatively (26.7%) than in those who underwent clipping or embolization (15.1%; p<0.001).
Conclusions In this NIS database study, the majority of patients with IIAs were managed non-operatively, regardless of rupture status. Further investigation is warranted to standardize the management of these lesions.
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