✓ Aneurysms of the distal anterior inferior cerebellar artery (AICA) are rare; fewer than 100 cases have been reported. The authors detail their experience with four cases and present endovascular as well as microsurgical management options.
The medical records and neuroimaging studies obtained in four patients who were treated at a single institution were reviewed. Clinical presentations, neuroimaging and intraoperative findings, and clinical outcomes were analyzed.
There were three men and one woman; their mean age was 43 years. Two patients presented with acute subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), and two presented with ataxia and vertigo (one with tinnitus, the other with hearing loss). Angiographic studies demonstrated aneurysms of the distal segment of the AICA. In one patient with von Hippel—Lindau syndrome and multiple cerebellar hemangioblastomas, a feeding artery aneurysm was found on a distal branch of the AICA. Three of the patients underwent successful surgical obliteration of their aneurysms, one by clipping, one by trapping, and one by resection along with the tumor. The fourth patient underwent coil embolization of the distal AICA and the aneurysm. All patients made an excellent neurological recovery.
Patients with aneurysms in this location may present with typical features of an acute SAH or with symptoms referable to the cerebellopontine angle. Evaluation with computerized tomography, magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, MR angiography, and digital subtraction angiography should be performed. For lesions distal to branches coursing to the brainstem, trapping and aneurysm resection are viable options that do not require bypass. Endovascular obliteration is also a reasonable option, although the possibility of retrograde thrombosis of the AICA is a concern.