Prevalence of cerebral aneurysms in patients with fibromuscular dysplasia: a reassessment

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Object. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of cerebral saccular aneurysms in patients with carotid artery and/or vertebral artery (VA) fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD).

Methods. A metaanalysis was performed using data from 17 previously reported series of patients with internal carotid artery (ICA) and/or VA FMD that included information on the prevalence of cerebral aneurysms. In addition, the authors retrospectively evaluated their own series of 117 patients with ICA and/or VA FMD to determine the prevalence of cerebral aneurysms. The metaanalysis of the 17 earlier series, which included 498 patients, showed a 7.6 ± 2.5% prevalence of incidental, asymptomatic aneurysms in patients with ICA and/or VA FMD. In the authors' series of patients with FMD, 6.3 ± 4.9% of patients harbored an incidental, asymptomatic aneurysm. When the authors' series was combined with those included in the metaanalysis, the prevalence was found to be 7.3 ± 2.2%. The prevalence of aneurysms in the general population would have to be greater than 5.6% for there to be no statistically significant difference (chi-square test, p < 0.05) when compared with this 7.3% prevalence in patients with FMD.

Conclusions. The prevalence of intracranial aneurysms in patients with cervical ICA and/or VA FMD is approximately 7%, which is not nearly as high as the 21 to 51% prevalence that has been previously reported.

Article Information

Contributor Notes

Address reprint requests to: Harry J. Cloft, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Radiology, Box 170, University of Virginia Health Sciences Center, Charlottesville, Virginia 22908.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.

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