Background Following publication of the International Subarachnoid Aneurysm Trial (ISAT), treatment paradigms for cerebral aneurysms (CAs) shifted from open surgical clipping to endovascular embolization as primary therapy in a majority of cases. However, comprehensive analyses evaluating more recent CA diagnosis patterns, patient populations and outcomes as a function of treatment modality remain rare.
Methods The National Inpatient Sample from 2004 to 2014 was reviewed. Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhages (aSAHs) and unruptured intracranial aneurysms (UIAs) with a treatment of surgical clipping or endovascular therapy (EVT) were identified. Time trend series plots were created. Linear and logistic regressions were utilized to quantify treatment changes.
Results 114 137 aSAHs and 122 916 UIAs were reviewed. aSAH (+732/year, p=0.014) and UIA (+2550/year, p<0.0001) discharges increased annually. The annual caseload of surgical clippings for aSAH decreased (−264/year, p=0.0002) while EVT increased (+366/year, p=0.0003). For UIAs, the annual caseload for surgical clipping remained stable but increased for EVT (+615/year, p<0.0001). The rate of incidentally diagnosed UIAs increased annually (+1987/year; p<0.0001). Inpatient mortality decreased for clipping (p<0.0001) and EVT in aSAH (p<0.0001) (2004 vs 2014—clipping 13% vs 11.7%, EVT 15.8% vs 12.7%). Mortality rates for clipped UIAs decreased over time (p<0.0001) and remained stable for EVT (2004 vs 2014—clipping 1.57% vs 0.40%, EVT 0.59% vs 0.52%).
Conclusion Ruptured and unruptured CAs are increasingly being treated with EVT over clipping. Incidental unruptured aneurysm diagnoses are increasing dramatically. Mortality rates of ruptured aneurysms are improving regardless of treatment modality, whereas mortality in unruptured aneurysms is only improving for surgical clipping.
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