Awake Neurologic Testing During Aneurysm Repair Decreases Ischemic Injury Risk

HealthDay News — “Awake” brain surgery may improve treatment of brain aneurysms, according to a study published in the Journal of Neurosurgery.

Testing the procedure on 30 aneurysm patients, study leader Saleem Abdulrauf, MD, and his team at Saint Louis University were able to communicate with the patients and test their brain function during surgery.

While sedated but conscious, 3 of the 30 patients developed warning signs of ischemia, such as blurred vision or the inability to make a fist. 

When these warning signs developed, the doctors were able to reposition the clips and resolve potential issues within seconds, according to the authors.

“The 3 patients who developed neurological deterioration without a concomitant neurophysiological finding during temporary clipping revealed a potential advantage of awake aneurysm surgery (i.e., in decreasing the risk of ischemic injury),” the authors write.

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Abdulrauf SI, Vuong P, Patel R, et al. “Awake” clipping of cerebral aneurysms: report of initial series. J Neurosurg. 2017;127(2):311-318.