Object. The aim of this study was to assess whether aneurysm surgery can be performed in patients with ruptured cerebral aneurysms by using three-dimensional computerized tomography (3D-CT) angiography alone, without conventional catheter angiography.
Methods. In a previous study, 60 patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) from ruptured aneurysms were prospectively evaluated using both 3D-CT and conventional angiography, which resulted in a 100% accuracy for 3D-CT angiography in the diagnosis of ruptured aneurysms, and a 96% accuracy in the identification of associated unruptured aneurysms. The results led the authors to consider replacing conventional angiography with 3D-CT angiography for use in diagnosing ruptured aneurysms, and to perform surgery aided by 3D-CT angiography alone without conventional angiography. Based on the results, 100 consecutive patients with SAH who had undergone surgery in the acute stage based on 3D-CT angiography findings have been studied since December 1996. One hundred ruptured aneurysms, including 41 associated unruptured lesions, were detected using 3D-CT angiography. In seven of 100 ruptured aneurysms, which included four dissecting vertebral artery aneurysms, two basilar artery (BA) tip aneurysms, and one BA—superior cerebellar artery aneurysm, 3D-CT angiography was followed by conventional angiography to acquire diagnostic confirmation or information about the vein of Labbé, which was needed to guide the surgical approach for BA tip aneurysms. All of the ruptured aneurysms were confirmed at surgery and treated successfully. Ninety-three patients who underwent operation with the aid of 3D-CT angiography only had no complications related to the lack of information gathered by conventional angiography. The 3D-CT angiography studies provided the authors with the aneurysm location as well as surgically important information on the configuration of its sac and neck, the presence of calcification in the aneurysm wall, and its relationship to the adjacent vessels and bone structures.
Conclusions The authors believe that 3D-CT angiography can replace conventional angiography in the diagnosis of ruptured aneurysms and that surgery can be performed in almost all acutely ruptured aneurysms by using only 3D-CT angiography without conventional angiography.