Decompressive Craniectomy and Risk of Wound Infection After Microsurgical Treatment of Ruptured Aneurysms

Document Type



Background: Owing to prolonged hospitalization and the complexity of care required for patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH), these patients have a high risk of complications. The risk for wound infection after microsurgical treatment for aSAH was analyzed. Methods: All patients who underwent microsurgical treatment for aSAH between August 1, 2007, and July 31, 2019, and were recorded in the Post–Barrow Ruptured Aneurysm Trial database were retrospectively reviewed. The patients were analyzed for risk factors for wound infection after treatment. Results: Of 594 patients who underwent microsurgical treatment for aSAH, 23 (3.9%) had wound infections. There was no significant difference in age between patients with wound infection and patients without infection (mean, 52.6 ± 12.2 years vs. 54.2 ± 4.0 years; P = 0.45). The presence of multiple comorbidities (including diabetes, tobacco use, and obesity), external ventricular drain, ventriculoperitoneal shunt, pneumonia, or urinary tract infection was not associated with an increased risk for wound infection. Furthermore, there was no significant difference in mean operative time between patients with wound infection and those without infection (280 ± 112 minutes vs. 260 ± 92 minutes; P = 0.38). Patients who required decompressive craniectomy (DC) were at increased risk of wound infection (odds ratio, 5.0; 95% confidence interval, 1.8–14.1; P = 0.002). Among the 23 total infections, 9 were diagnosed following cranioplasty after DC. Conclusions: Microsurgical treatment for aSAH is associated with a relatively low risk of wound infection. However, patients undergoing DC may be at an increased risk for infection. Additional attention and comprehensive wound care are warranted for these patients.

Publication Date


Publication Title

World Neurosurgery





PubMed ID


Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


This document is currently not available here.