Object. The routine use of intraoperative angiography as an aid in the surgical treatment of aneurysms is uncommon. The advantages of the ability to visualize residual aneurysm or unintended occlusion of parent vessels intraoperatively must be weighed against the complications associated with repeated angiography and prolonged vascular access. The authors reviewed the results of their routine use of intraoperative angiography to determine its safety and efficacy.
Methods. Prospectively gathered data from all aneurysm cases treated surgically between January 1996 and June 2000 were reviewed. A total of 303 operations were performed in 284 patients with aneurysms; 24 patients also underwent postoperative angiography. Findings on intraoperative angiographic studies prompted reexploration and clip readjustment in 37 (11%) of the 337 aneurysms clipped. Angiography revealed parent vessel occlusion in 10 cases (3%), residual aneurysm in 22 cases (6.5%), and both residual lesion and parent vessel occlusion in five cases (1.5%). When compared with subsequent postoperative imaging, false-negative results were found on two intraoperative angiograms (8.3%) and a false-positive result was found on one (4.2%). Postoperative angiograms obtained in both false-negative cases revealed residual anterior communicating artery aneurysms. Both of these aneurysms also subsequently rebled, requiring reoperation. In the group that underwent intraoperative angiography, in 303 operations eight patients (2.6%) suffered complications, of which only one was neurological.
Conclusions. In the surgical treatment of intracranial aneurysms, the use of routine intraoperative angiography is safe and helpful in a significant number of cases, although it does not replace careful intraoperative inspection of the surgical field.