Study by UAMS Neurosurgeon Analyzes Benefits of Surgery on Unruptured Brain Aneurysms

By todd

LITTLE ROCK — Surgery is a successful treatment for unruptured intracranial aneurysms, according to a study by University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) neurosurgeon Ali F. Krisht, M.D.


A brain aneurysm is a bulge or blister in the wall of a brain blood vessel.  Left untreated, brain aneurysms may tear or rupture, which causes bleeding within the brain cavity and may result in permanent disability or death.


“This study is a turning point on how we will treat aneurysms in the future,” said Krisht,  professor in the Department of Neurosurgery in the UAMS College of Medicine and director of the UAMS Neuroendocrine Clinic and Cerebrovascular Clinic. UAMS’ cerebrovascular center receives patient referrals from throughout the world and is widely recognized for its use of advanced surgical techniques. 


Krisht published the results of his study titled “Outcome of Surgical Clipping of Unruptured Aneurysms as it Compares with a 10-Year Nonclipping Survival Period” in the February issue of Neurosurgery.


“There has long been a question about how effective surgery is in treating unruptured aneurysms,” Krisht said. “In this study, we analyzed the outcome of surgically treating patients with unruptured aneurysms and compared our results with the 10-year survival rate of patients in two previously published studies.”


The data in Krisht’s study was based on 148 unruptured aneurysms in 116 surgically treated patients and analyzed aneurismal properties and clinical outcomes including surgical-related mortalities and morbidities. A total of 143 (96.62 percent) aneurysms were successfully clipped and 3.37 percent were either wrapped or later coiled. A one-year follow-up was available in 93 percent of patients.


Surgical-related mortality of patients in the study was 0.8 percent. Those who experienced surgical-related permanent disabilities were 3.4 percent and surgical-related mild disabilities were 7.7 percent.


In the comparison study of nonclipped aneurysms, the 10-year cumulative mortality and permanent disability rate was 9.5 percent of 143 aneurysms.


“The results of the study reveal that surgical clipping has the potential of a superior outcome for patients who have an estimated life expectancy of at least 10 years,” Krisht said.


UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with five colleges, a graduate school, a medical center, five centers of excellence and a statewide network of regional centers. UAMS has about 2,320 students and 690 medical residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 9,300 employees, including nearly 1,000 physicians who provide medical care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the VA Medical Center. UAMS and its affiliates have an economic impact in Arkansas of $4.5 billion a year. For more information, visit