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Original research
Methamphetamine use is an independent predictor of poor outcome after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage
  1. Karam Moon1,
  2. Felipe C Albuquerque1,
  3. Mario Mitkov2,
  4. Andrew F Ducruet1,
  5. David A Wilson1,
  6. R Webster Crowley1,
  7. Peter Nakaji1,
  8. Cameron G McDougall1
  1. 1Division of Neurological Surgery, Barrow Neurological Institute, St Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, Phoenix, Arizona, USA
  2. 2School of Medicine, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Felipe C Albuquerque, c/o Neuroscience Publications, Division of Neurological Surgery, Barrow Neurological Institute, St Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, 350 W Thomas Road, Phoenix, AZ 85013, USA; Neuropub{at}


Background Clinical outcomes of methamphetamine users with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) are unknown.

Objective To analyze differences in presentation, in-hospital morbidity, and outcomes between methamphetamine users and non-users.

Methods All 472 patients included in the Barrow Ruptured Aneurysm Trial from 2003 to 2007 were reviewed. Patients with 1- and 3-year follow-up were included in this analysis (n=398). Methamphetamine users were identified as patients who provided a history of methamphetamine use on admission or tested positive on urine toxicology testing. Methamphetamine users were compared with non-users using univariate analysis. Outcomes were then analyzed using multivariate logistic regression models for demographic characteristics, medical comorbidities, radiographic and clinical presentation, and vasospasm.

Results Thirty-one patients (7.8%) were identified as methamphetamine users in this cohort. Methamphetamine users were younger than non-users (mean age 42.8 vs 55 years, p<0.001). In multivariate logistic regression models, methamphetamine use was an independent predictor of poor Glasgow Outcome Scale score at both 1 year (OR=5.02; 95% CI 1.03 to 24.48; p<0.05) and 3 years (OR=7.18; 95% CI 1.73 to 29.87; p=0.007). Other independent predictors in this model included older age, clinical vasospasm, diabetes, and aneurysm size. Cocaine and tobacco use were not significantly associated with poor outcome in our cohort. Methamphetamine use was not significantly associated with vasospasm, higher Fisher or Hunt and Hess grade, or intraparenchymal hemorrhage/intraventricular hemorrhage.

Conclusions Methamphetamine users have significantly worse outcomes at 1 and 3 years following aSAH. Further analysis is necessary to understand the pathological response associated with methamphetamine use in this setting.

  • Aneurysm
  • Flow Diverter
  • Angiography
  • Catheter
  • Device

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