Acta Neurochirurgica

, Volume 155, Issue 11, pp 2045–2051 | Cite as

Current practice in neuropsychological outcome reporting after aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage

  • Martin N. StienenEmail author
  • Rahel Weisshaupt
  • Javier Fandino
  • Christian Fung
  • Emanuela Keller
  • Gerhard Hildebrandt
  • Aline Studerus-Germann
  • Rene Müri
  • Klemens Gutbrod
  • Stefan Bläsi
  • Andreas U. Monsch
  • Peter Brugger
  • Christian Mondadori
  • Martin Sailer
  • Philippe Bijlenga
  • Karl Schaller
  • Bawarjan Schatlo
  • on behalf of the Swiss SOS study group
Clinical Article - Vascular



Neuropsychological deficits (NPD) are common in patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage (aSAH). NPD are one of the major limiting factors for patients with an otherwise acceptable prognosis for sustained quality of life. There are only a few studies reporting outcome after aSAH, which used a standardized neuropsychological test battery as a primary or secondary outcome measure. Aim of this study was to determine the current practice of reporting NPD following aSAH in clinical studies.


A MEDLINE analysis was performed using the search term “subarachnoid haemorrhage outcome”. The latest 1,000 articles were screened. We recorded study design, number of patients, and the presence of neuropsychological outcome report. Additionally, the time of testing after aSAH, the neuropsychological tests administered, as well as the percentage of patients with NPD were analyzed.


A total of 324 publications between 2009 and 2012 were selected for further review. Of those, 21 studies (6.5%) reported neuropsychological outcome, in 2,001 of 346,666 patients (0.6%). The assessment of NPD differed broadly using both subjective and objective cognitive evaluation, and a large variety of tests were used.


Neuropsychological outcome is underreported, and there is great variety in assessment in currently published clinical articles on aSAH. Prospective randomized trials treating aSAH may benefit from implementing more comprehensive and standardized neuropsychological outcome measures. This approach might identify otherwise unnoticed treatment effects in future interventional studies of aSAH patients.


Subarachnoid haemorrhage Cognitive impairment Aneurysm Clinical trial Neuropsychology 


Source of funding

There was no funding for this study.



Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin N. Stienen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rahel Weisshaupt
    • 2
  • Javier Fandino
    • 3
  • Christian Fung
    • 4
  • Emanuela Keller
    • 5
  • Gerhard Hildebrandt
    • 1
  • Aline Studerus-Germann
    • 6
  • Rene Müri
    • 7
  • Klemens Gutbrod
    • 7
  • Stefan Bläsi
    • 8
  • Andreas U. Monsch
    • 8
  • Peter Brugger
    • 9
  • Christian Mondadori
    • 9
  • Martin Sailer
    • 10
  • Philippe Bijlenga
    • 11
  • Karl Schaller
    • 11
  • Bawarjan Schatlo
    • 3
  • on behalf of the Swiss SOS study group
  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgerySt. GallenSwitzerland
  2. 2.Neuropsychology Unit, Department of NeurologyKantonsspital AarauSwitzerland
  3. 3.Department of NeurosurgeryKantonsspital AarauSwitzerland
  4. 4.Department of NeurosurgeryUniversity Hospital BernBernSwitzerland
  5. 5.Neurointensive Care Unit, Department of NeurosurgeryUniversity Hospital ZürichZürichSwitzerland
  6. 6.Neuropsychology Unit, Department of Neurology, KantonsspitalSt. GallenSwitzerland
  7. 7.Division of Cognitive and Restorative Neurology, Department of NeurologyUniversity Hospital BernBernSwitzerland
  8. 8.Department of Geriatrics, Memory ClinicUniversity Hospital BaselBaselSwitzerland
  9. 9.Neuropsychology Unit, Department of NeurologyUniversity Hospital ZürichZürichSwitzerland
  10. 10.Department of NeurosurgeryUniversity Hospital BaselBaselSwitzerland
  11. 11.Department of NeurosurgeryUniversity Hospital GenevaGenevaSwitzerland

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