Kantonsspital St.Gallen

Longitudinal neuropsychological assessment after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage and its relationship with delayed cerebral ischemia: a prospective Swiss multicenter study

Martin N. Stienen, Menno R Germans, Olivia Zindel-Geisseler, Noemi Dannecker, Yannick Rothacher, Ladina Schlosser, Julia Velz, Martina Sebök, Noemi Eggenberger, Adrien May, Julien Haemmerli, Philippe Bijlenga, Karl Schaller, Ursula Guerra-Lopez, Rodolfo Maduri, Valérie Beaud, Khalid Al-Taha, Roy Thomas Daniel, Alessio Chiappini, Stefania Rossi, Thomas Robert, Sara Bonasia, Johannes Goldberg, Christian Fung, David Bervini, Marie Elise Maradan-Gachet, Klemens Gutbrod, Nicolai Maldaner, Marian C Neidert, Severin Früh, Marc Schwind, Oliver Bozinov, Peter Brugger, Emanuela Keller, Angelina Marr, Sébastien Roux, Luca Regli, MoCA-DCI Study Group & MoCA-DCI Study Group Contributors


While prior retrospective studies have suggested that delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI) is a predictor of neuropsychological deficits after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH), all studies to date have shown a high risk of bias. This study was designed to determine the impact of DCI on the longitudinal neuropsychological outcome after aSAH, and importantly, it includes a baseline examination after aSAH but before DCI onset to reduce the risk of bias.

In a prospective, multicenter study (8 Swiss centers), 112 consecutive alert patients underwent serial neuropsychological assessments (Montreal Cognitive Assessment [MoCA]) before and after the DCI period (first assessment, < 72 hours after aSAH; second, 14 days after aSAH; third, 3 months after aSAH). The authors compared standardized MoCA scores and determined the likelihood for a clinically meaningful decline of ≥ 2 points from baseline in patients with DCI versus those without.

The authors screened 519 patients, enrolled 128, and obtained complete data in 112 (87.5%; mean [± SD] age 53.9 ± 13.9 years; 66.1% female; 73% World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies [WFNS] grade I, 17% WFNS grade II, 10% WFNS grades III-V), of whom 30 (26.8%) developed DCI. MoCA z-scores were worse in the DCI group at baseline (-2.6 vs -1.4, p = 0.013) and 14 days (-3.4 vs -0.9, p < 0.001), and 3 months (-0.8 vs 0.0, p = 0.037) after aSAH. Patients with DCI were more likely to experience a decline of ≥ 2 points in MoCA score at 14 days after aSAH (adjusted OR [aOR] 3.02, 95% CI 1.07-8.54; p = 0.037), but the likelihood was similar to that in patients without DCI at 3 months after aSAH (aOR 1.58, 95% CI 0.28-8.89; p = 0.606).

Aneurysmal SAH patients experiencing DCI have worse neuropsychological function before and until 3 months after the DCI period. DCI itself is responsible for a temporary and clinically meaningful decline in neuropsychological function, but its effect on the MoCA score could not be measured at the time of the 3-month follow-up in patients with low-grade aSAH with little or no impairment of consciousness. Whether these findings can be extrapolated to patients with high-grade aSAH remains unclear. Clinical trial registration no.: NCT03032471 (ClinicalTrials.gov).
citation Stienen M N, Germans M R, Zindel-Geisseler O, Dannecker N, Rothacher Y, Schlosser L, Velz J, Sebök M, Eggenberger N, May A, Haemmerli J, Bijlenga P, Schaller K, Guerra-Lopez U, Maduri R, Beaud V, Al-Taha K, Daniel R T, Chiappini A, Rossi S, Robert T, Bonasia S, Goldberg J, Fung C, Bervini D, Maradan-Gachet M E, Gutbrod K, Maldaner N, Neidert M C, Früh S, Schwind M, Bozinov O, Brugger P, Keller E, Marr A, Roux S, Regli L, MoCA-DCI Study Group , MoCA-DCI Study Group Contributors . Longitudinal neuropsychological assessment after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage and its relationship with delayed cerebral ischemia: a prospective Swiss multicenter study. J Neurosurg 2022;1-9.
type journal paper/review (English)
date of publishing 29-04-2022
journal title J Neurosurg
ISSN electronic 1933-0693
pages 1-9
PubMed 35535839
DOI 10.3171/2022.2.JNS212595