Factors associated with aneurysm size in patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage: Effect of smoking and aneurysm location

Adrian I. Qureshi, Gene Y. Sung, M. Fareed K. Suri, Robert N. Straw, Lee R. Guterman, L. Nelson Hopkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Intracranial aneurysm size is an important determinant of risk of rupture and outcome after rupture. Risk factors influencing aneurysm formation and growth are not well defined. In this study, we examined the association between known risk factors for cerebrovascular disease and size of intracranial aneurysms in patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. METHODS: We analyzed prospectively collected data from the placebo-treated group in a multicenter clinical trial conducted at 54 neurosurgical centers in North America. The presence, location, and size of intracranial aneurysms were determined by review of the admission angiograms. Pertinent information regarding the presence of various cerebrovascular risk factors was collected for each patient. Using logistic regression analysis, we identified independent determinants of aneurysm size from demographic, clinical, and angiographic characteristics of the participants. The impact of aneurysm size on 3-month mortality was analyzed after adjusting for potential confounding factors. RESULTS: For 298 patients admitted with subarachnoid hemorrhage, the ruptured aneurysms were graded as small (<13 mm) in 235 patients (79%) and large (≥13 mm) in 63 patients (21%). In the logistic regression model, both smoking at any time (odds ratio, 2.2; 95% confidence interval, 1.1-4.5) and middle cerebral artery origin (odds ratio, 2.5; 95% confidence interval, 1.3-4.9) were independently associated with large aneurysms. Neither hypertension, diabetes mellitus, nor alcohol and illicit drug use were associated with large-sized aneurysms. After adjusting for initial Glasgow Coma Scale score and age in the logistic regression model, the presence of large-sized aneurysms was independently associated with 3- month mortality (odds ratio, 2.3; 95% confidence interval, 1.1-4.8). CONCLUSION: Cigarette smoking and middle cerebral artery origin seem to increase the risk for developing large aneurysms in patients predisposed to intracranial aneurysm formation. Further studies are required to investigate the mechanism underlying the association between cigarette smoking and intracranial aneurysm formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-50
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2000


  • Aneurysms
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Hypertension
  • Middle cerebral artery
  • Mortality


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