The spectrum of management practices in nontraumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage: A survey of high-volume centers in the United States

The spectrum of management practices in nontraumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage: A survey of high-volume centers in the United States

Luke Tomycz, Nakul Shekhawat, Jonathan Forbes, Mayshan Ghiassi, Mahan Ghiassi, Dennis Lockney, Dennis Velez, Robert Mericle

Surgical Neurology International 2011 2(1):90-90

Background: There is a considerable variety of management practices for nontraumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage (ntSAH) across high-volume centers in the United States. We sought to design a survey which would highlight areas of controversy in the modern management of ntSAH and identify specific areas of interest fo further study. Methods: A questionnaire on management practices in ntSAH was formulated using a popular web-based survey tool (SurveyMonkey TM , Palo Alto, CA) and sent to endovascular neurointerventionists and cerebrovascular surgeons who manage a high volume of these patients annually. Two-hundred questionnaires were delivered electronically, and after a period of 2 months, the questionnaire was resent to nonresponders. Results: Seventy-three physicians responded, representing a cross-section of academic and other high-volume centers of excellence from around the country. On average, the responding interventionists in this survey each manage approximately 100 patients with ntSAH annually. Over 57% reported using steroids to treat this patient population. Approximately 18% of the respondents use intrathecal thrombolytics in ntSAH. Over 90% of responding physicians administer nimodipine to all patients with ntSAH. Over 40% selectively administer antiepileptic drugs to patients with ntSAH. Several additional questions were posed regarding the methods of detecting and treating vasospasm, as well as the indications for CSF diversion in patients with ntSAH further demonstrating the great diversity in management. Conclusion: This survey illustrates the astonishing variety of treatment practices for patients with ntSAH and underscores the need for further study.

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