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OBJECTIVE: Since the introduction of endovascular embolization, the optimal treatment of ruptured aneurysms has been debated. Much of this debate has been based on results from large neurovascular centers and may not be applicable to small neurosurgical centers with low annual aneurysm loads. We think that the results of small centers, such as ours, may also be of some interest.

METHODS: This study included 286 patients treated endovascularly or operated on by the senior investigator (KW) before November 2004. They all had an angiographically verified aneurysm as the source of bleeding in the subarachnoid hemorrhage. Variables related to presentation, radiological findings, treatment, and outcome were recorded.

RESULTS: A significantly higher proportion (66.3%) of the endovascular patients had complete or near-complete recovery (Glasgow Outcome Scale 5) compared with the surgically treated patients (47.8%). When clinical outcomes were dichotomized into favorable (Glasgow Outcome Scale 4-5) and unfavorable (Glasgow Outcome Scale 1-3), no difference was found between the two treatment groups. Treatment-related mortality or morbidity was equal. Significantly more patients were converted from endovascular to surgical treatment than vice versa. No surgically treated patients rebled, whereas four endovascular patients rebled from their previously treated aneurysm.

CONCLUSION: At present in our hospital, the endovascular modality seems to yield a better clinical outcome than surgery and has become our treatment of choice. With increasing use and further refinement of the endovascular techniques, the difference in outcomes between the treatment modalities will probably change even further in favor of the endovascular technique.

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