Translational Stroke Research

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 340–346 | Cite as

Heroin Use Is Associated with Ruptured Saccular Aneurysms

  • Anil Can
  • Victor M. Castro
  • Yildirim H. Ozdemir
  • Sarajune Dagen
  • Dmitriy Dligach
  • Sean Finan
  • Sheng Yu
  • Vivian Gainer
  • Nancy A. Shadick
  • Guergana Savova
  • Shawn Murphy
  • Tianxi Cai
  • Scott T. Weiss
  • Rose DuEmail author
Original Article


While cocaine use is thought to be associated with aneurysmal rupture, it is not known whether heroin use increases the risk of rupture in patients with non-mycotic saccular aneurysms. Our goal was to investigate the association between heroin and cocaine use and the rupture of saccular non-mycotic aneurysms. The medical records of 4701 patients with 6411 intracranial aneurysms, including 1201 prospective patients, diagnosed at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital between 1990 and 2016 were reviewed and analyzed. Patients were separated into ruptured and non-ruptured groups. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed to determine the association between heroin, cocaine, and methadone use and the presence of ruptured intracranial aneurysms. In multivariable analysis, current heroin use was significantly associated with rupture status (OR 3.23, 95% CI 1.33–7.83) whereas former heroin use (with and without methadone replacement therapy), and current and former cocaine use were not significantly associated with intracranial aneurysm rupture. In the present study, heroin rather than cocaine use is significantly associated with intracranial aneurysm rupture in patients with non-mycotic saccular cerebral aneurysms, emphasizing the possible role of heroin in the pathophysiology of aneurysm rupture and the importance of heroin cessation in patients harboring unruptured intracranial aneurysms.


Heroin Cocaine Opioids Aneurysm Subarachnoid hemorrhage 



This study was funded by Partners Personalized Medicine (R.D.).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional review board and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was waived by the institutional review board.

Supplementary material

12975_2017_582_MOESM1_ESM.docx (101 kb)
Supplemental Table 1 (DOCX 101 kb)
12975_2017_582_MOESM2_ESM.docx (87 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 87 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anil Can
    • 1
  • Victor M. Castro
    • 2
  • Yildirim H. Ozdemir
    • 1
  • Sarajune Dagen
    • 1
  • Dmitriy Dligach
    • 3
    • 4
  • Sean Finan
    • 4
  • Sheng Yu
    • 5
    • 6
  • Vivian Gainer
    • 2
  • Nancy A. Shadick
    • 7
  • Guergana Savova
    • 4
  • Shawn Murphy
    • 2
    • 8
  • Tianxi Cai
    • 9
  • Scott T. Weiss
    • 5
    • 10
  • Rose Du
    • 1
    • 10
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Neurosurgery, Brigham and Women’s HospitalBostonUSA
  2. 2.Research Information Systems and ComputingPartners HealthcareBostonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Computer ScienceLoyola UniversityChicagoUSA
  4. 4.Boston Children’s Hospital Informatics ProgramBostonUSA
  5. 5.Department of MedicineBrigham and Women’s HospitalBostonUSA
  6. 6.Center for Statistical ScienceTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina
  7. 7.Division of Rheumatology, Immunology and AllergyBrigham and Women’s HospitalBostonUSA
  8. 8.Department of NeurologyMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA
  9. 9.BiostatisticsHarvard T. H. Chan School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  10. 10.Channing Division of Network MedicineBrigham and Women’s HospitalBostonUSA

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