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Is sex a predictor for delayed cerebral ischaemia (DCI) and hydrocephalus after aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage (aSAH)? A systematic review and meta-analysis

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 16:31 authored by Sabah RehmanSabah Rehman, Hoang PhanHoang Phan, Chandra, RV, Seana GallSeana Gall

Objectives: DCI and hydrocephalus are the most common complications that predict poor outcomes after aSAH. The relationship between sex, DCI and hydrocephalus are not well established; thus, we aimed to examine sex differences in DCI and hydrocephalus following aSAH in a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Methods: A systematic search was conducted using the PubMed, Scopus and Medline databases from inception to August 2022 to identify cohort, case control, case series and clinical studies reporting sex and DCI, acute and chronic shunt-dependent hydrocephalus (SDHC). Random-effects meta-analysis was used to pool estimates for available studies.

Results: There were 56 studies with crude estimates for DCI and meta-analysis showed that women had a greater risk for DCI than men (OR 1.24, 95% CI 1.11-1.39). The meta-analysis for adjusted estimates for 9 studies also showed an association between sex and DCI (OR 1.61, 95% CI 1.27-2.05). For acute hydrocephalus, only 9 studies were included, and meta-analysis of unadjusted estimates showed no association with sex (OR 0.95, 95%CI 0.78-1.16). For SDHC, a meta-analysis of crude estimates from 53 studies showed that women had a somewhat greater risk of developing chronic hydrocephalus compared to men (OR 1.14, 95% CI 0.99-1.31). In meta-analysis for adjusted estimates from 5 studies, no association of sex with SDHC was observed (OR 0.87, 95% CI 0.57-1.33).

Conclusions: Female sex is associated with the development of DCI; however, an association between sex and hydrocephalus was not detected. Strategies to target females to reduce the development of DCI may decrease overall morbidity and mortality after aSAH.


Publication title

Acta Neurochirurgica








Menzies Institute for Medical Research


Springer-Verlag Wien

Place of publication

Sachsenplatz 4-6, Po Box 89, Vienna, Austria, A-1201

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© The Author(s) 2022.

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Socio-economic Objectives

Treatment of human diseases and conditions

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