Verbal memory capacity after treatment for ruptured intracranial aneurysm—the outcomes of three psychological tests: within a month, 1 year after and 5-7 years after treatment
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE A prospective study was conducted to compare the neuropsychological outcome of surgical versus endovascular treatment in patients with cerebral aneurysms. METHODS From April 2001 to 2005, 211 patients with ruptured cerebral aneurysms were treated at the senior author's institution. Of these 211 patients, 75 that were able and willing to undergo neuropsychological assessment 1 year after treatment of their aneurysm were enrolled in the study. Thirty-five patients were treated surgically and 40 by endovascular therapy. Standardized neuropsychological and personality tests were employed to assess cognitive and personality functions. One neurosurgical team using the same treatment protocols treated all patients. RESULTS The two groups of patients did not differ significantly with respect to age, gender, concurrent diseases, Hunt and Hess grade, Fisher grade, frequency of complications, vasospasms and hydrocephalus development. No differences in performance on neuropsychological and cognitive tests (AVLT, TMT and WAIS-III) and personality variables and mood scales (TCI, BDI and SMS) were found one year postoperatively. If a full IQ as defined by WAIS-III and 1SD below the mean is considered as the main measure of cognitive deficits, 5.4% of the sample suffered from cognitive deficits. There were no differences between clipped and coiled patients (t=0.03; p=0.97). CONCLUSIONS The differences in the neuropsychological assessment of patients treated by either coiling or clipping were small and non-significant. Given the small number of patients in the study, however, we suggest the need for further research with a larger sample size and the use of a randomized design before drawing any firm conclusions.