Although a number of studies have assessed the surgical treatment of paraclinoid-segment carotid artery aneurysms and resulting visual complications, less attention has been given to the results with respect to the superior hypophyseal artery (SHA). The authors evaluated the relationship between the aneurysm, the SHA itself, and postoperative visual function in patients with ruptured and unruptured SHA aneurysms.
From January 1991 through December 2013, 181 patients with 190 paraclinoid carotid artery aneurysms received treatment at Shinshu University Hospital and its affiliated hospitals. The authors retrospectively analyzed charts, operative records, operative videos, and neuroimaging findings for these patients with or without postoperative visual complications.
The authors identified 72 SHA aneurysms in 70 patients (mean age 58 years). Of 69 patients (1 patient died) evaluated, postoperative visual complications occurred in 9 (13.0%). Although the aneurysm size and SHA sacrifice did not lead to postoperative visual impairment, simultaneous treatment of bilateral aneurysms was a risk factor for postoperative visual complications.
Unilateral SHA impairment may be safe (i.e., it may not induce ischemia of the optic pathway) for many, but not all, patients with SHA aneurysm.