Perforator territory infarction (PTI) is still a major problem needing to be solved to achieve good outcomes in aneurysm surgery. However, details and risk factors of PTI diagnosed on postoperative MRI remain unknown. The authors aimed to investigate the details of PTI on postoperative diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) in patients with surgically treated unruptured intracranial saccular aneurysms (UISAs).
The data of 848 patients with 1047 UISAs were retrospectively evaluated. PTI was diagnosed on DWI, which was performed the day after aneurysm surgery. Clinical and radiological characteristics were compared between UISAs with and without PTI. Poor outcome was defined as an increase in 1 or more modified Rankin Scale scores at 12 months after aneurysm surgery.
Postoperative DWI was performed in all cases, and it revealed PTI in 56 UISA cases (5.3%). Forty-three PTIs occurred without direct injury and occlusion of perforators (43 of 56, 77%). Poor outcome was more frequently observed in the PTI group (17 of 56, 30%) than the non-PTI group (57 of 1047, 5.4%) (p < 0.0001). Thalamotuberal arteries (p < 0.01), lateral striate arteries (p < 0.01), Heubner’s artery (p < 0.01), anterior median commissural artery (p < 0.05), terminal internal carotid artery perforators (p < 0 0.01), and basilar artery perforator (p < 0 0.01) infarctions were related to poor outcome by adjusted residual analysis. On multivariate analysis, statin use (OR 10, 95% CI, 3.3–31; p < 0.0001), specific aneurysm locations (posterior communicating artery [OR 4.1, 95% CI 2.1–8.1; p < 0.0001] and basilar artery [OR 3.1, 95% CI 1.1–8.9; p = 0.031]), larger aneurysm size (OR 1.1, 95% CI 1.1–1.2; p = 0.043), and permanent decrease of motor evoked potential (OR 38, 95% CI 3.1–468; p = 0.0045) were related to PTI.
Despite efforts to avoid PTI, it occurred even without direct injury, occlusion of perforators, or evoked potential abnormality. Therefore, surgical treatment of UISAs, especially with the aforementioned risk factors of PTI, should be more carefully considered. The evaluation of PTI in the territory of the above-mentioned perforators could be useful in helping predict the clinical course in patients after aneurysm surgery.