Lower Incidence of Transcranial Doppler and Symptomatic Vasospasm After Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage and Aneurysm Clipping in the Elderly Patient?

Lower Incidence of Transcranial Doppler and Symptomatic Vasospasm After Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage and Aneurysm Clipping in the Elderly Patient?

BACKGROUND: Vasospasm is the major cause of morbidity and mortality after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. It is well known that the vasoreactivity decreases with advancing age, but it is not well investigated in a large patient cohort whether, as a consequence, the incidence of vasospasm is lower in elderly patients. OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether transcranial Doppler vasospasm, delayed ischemic neurological deficits, and vasospasm-associated ischemic lesions are less frequent in older patients. METHODS: Seven hundred fifty-eight patients who suffered from subarachnoid hemorrhage were included in this study. Clinical presentation, Hunt and Hess score, Fisher grade, incidence of vasospasm, neurological deficits and ischemic lesions on radiographic imaging, transcranial Doppler blood flow velocities, medical complications, and outcome were registered. RESULTS: Four hundred seventy-eight patients < 60 years of age and 280 patients ≥ 60 years of age were identified; 55.2% of the younger and 25.7% of the older age group developed post-hemorrhagic vasospasm (P < .001). Older patients developed less vasospasm (P = .00), fewer neurological deficits (P < .001), and fewer ischemic lesions on computed tomography imaging (P = .06). On the other hand, older patients had significantly worse outcomes than younger patients (P = .01) and more frequently died of medical complications (P = .01). CONCLUSION: Vasospasm, delayed ischemic neurological deficits, and vasospasm-associated ischemic lesions are more likely to occur in patients < 60 years of age than in older patients. The lower incidence of vasospasm and vasospasm-related ischemia in the elderly patient does not translate into better outcome because of the higher rate of fatal medical complications in patients ≥ 60 years of age.

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