Paradoxical Trends in the Management of Unruptured Cerebral Aneurysms in the United States
Analysis of Nationwide Database Over a 10-Year Period
Background and Purpose—The objective of this study was to characterize demographics, treatments, and outcomes in the management of unruptured cerebral aneurysms in the United States using a national healthcare database.
Methods—Clinical data were derived from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample for the years 1997 through 2006. Patients with unruptured cerebral aneurysms were identified using the appropriate International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision code (437.3). Hospitalizations, length of stay, hospital charges, discharge pattern, age and gender distribution, and nature of intervention were analyzed. A Bureau of Labor statistics tool was used to adjust hospital and national charges for inflation. Population-adjusted rates were calculated using population estimates generated by the US Census Bureau.
Results—Over 100 000 records were retrieved for analysis. During the time period studied, there was a 75% increase in the number of hospitalizations associated with unruptured cerebral aneurysms. Inflation adjusted hospital charges increased by 60%, whereas the total national bill increased by 200%. Overall, length of stay decreased by 37% and in-hospital mortality rates decreased by 54%. The increasing number of hospitalizations and total national charges related to inpatient treatment of unruptured aneurysms were significantly associated with endovascular treatment rather than surgical clipping.
Conclusions—Despite recent studies suggesting a low risk of rupture of incidentally diagnosed cerebral aneurysms, data from this study suggest an increasing trend of treatment for this entity in the United States. Furthermore, endovascular intervention is now the major driving force behind the increasing overall national charges. Given the current healthcare climate, the impact of these trends warrants discussion and debate.
- Received September 27, 2010.
- Revision received December 27, 2010.
- Accepted December 28, 2010.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.