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Rob Molenberg, Marlien W. Aalbers, Jan D. M. Metzemaekers, Aryan Mazuri, Gert-Jan Luijckx, Rob J. M. Groen, Maarten Uyttenboogaart and J. Marc C. van Dijk


Unruptured intracranial aneurysms are common incidental findings on brain imaging. Short-term follow-up for conservatively treated aneurysms is routinely performed in most cerebrovascular centers, although its clinical relevance remains unclear. In this study, the authors assessed the extent of growth as well as the rupture risk during short-term follow-up of conservatively treated unruptured intracranial aneurysms. In addition, the influence of patient-specific and aneurysm-specific factors on growth and rupture risk was investigated.


The authors queried their prospective institutional neurovascular registry to identify patients with unruptured intracranial aneurysms and short-term follow-up imaging, defined as follow-up MRA and/or CTA within 3 months to 2 years after initial diagnosis. Medical records and questionnaires were used to acquire baseline information. The authors measured aneurysm size at baseline and at follow-up to detect growth. Rupture was defined as a CT scan–proven and/or CSF-proven subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH).


A total of 206 consecutive patients with 267 conservatively managed unruptured aneurysms underwent short-term follow-up at the authors’ center. Seven aneurysms (2.6%) enlarged during a median follow-up duration of 1 year (range 0.3–2.0 years). One aneurysm (0.4%) ruptured 10 months after initial discovery. Statistically significant risk factors for growth or rupture were autosomal-dominant polycystic kidney disease (RR 8.3, 95% CI 2.0–34.7), aspect ratio > 1.6 or size ratio > 3 (RR 10.8, 95% CI 2.2–52.2), and initial size ≥ 7 mm (RR 10.7, 95% CI 2.7–42.8).


Significant growth of unruptured intracranial aneurysms may occur in a small proportion of patients during short-term follow-up. As aneurysm growth is associated with an increased risk of rupture, the authors advocate that short-term follow-up is clinically relevant and has an important role in reducing the risk of a potential SAH.

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Nicolaas A. Bakker, Rob J. M. Groen, Mahrouz Foumani, Maarten Uyttenboogaart, Omid S. Eshghi, Jan D. M. Metzemaekers, Natasja Lammers, Gert-Jan Luijckx and J. Marc C. Van Dijk


A repeat digital subtraction angiography (DSA) study of the cranial vasculature is routinely performed in patients with diffuse nonperimesencephalic subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) after negative baseline CT angiography (CTA) and DSA studies. However, DSA carries a low but substantial risk of neurological complications. Therefore, the authors evaluated the added value of repeat DSA in patients with initial angiographically negative diffuse nonperimesencephalic SAH.


A systematic review of the contemporary literature was performed according to the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) statement. Studies from January 2000 onward were reviewed since imaging modalities have much improved over the last decade. A pooled analysis was conducted to identify the detection rate of repeat DSA. In addition, the diagnostic yield of repeat DSAs in a prospectively maintained single-center series of 1051 consecutive patients with SAH was added to the analysis.


An initial search of the literature yielded 179 studies, 8 of which met the selection criteria. Another 45 patients from the authors' institution were included in the study, providing 368 patients eligible for the pooled analysis. In 37 patients (10.0%, 95% CI 7.4%–13.6%) an aneurysm was detected on repeat DSA. The timing of the repeat DSA varied from 1 to 6 weeks after the initial DSA. The use of 3D techniques was poorly described among these studies, and no direct comparisons between CTA and DSA were made.


Repeat DSA is still warranted in patients with a diffuse nonperimesencephalic SAH and negative initial assessment. However, the exact timing of the repeat DSA is subject to debate.

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Carlina E. van Donkelaar, Nicolaas A. Bakker, Nic J. G. M. Veeger, Maarten Uyttenboogaart, Jan D. M. Metzemaekers, Omid Eshghi, Aryan Mazuri, Mahrouz Foumani, Gert-Jan Luijckx, Rob J. M. Groen and J. Marc C. van Dijk


Currently, early prediction of outcome after spontaneous subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) lacks accuracy despite multiple studies addressing this issue. The clinical condition of the patient on admission as assessed using the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies (WFNS) grading scale is currently considered the gold standard. However, the timing of the clinical assessment is subject to debate, as is the contribution of additional predictors. The aim of this study was to identify either the conventional WFNS grade on admission or the WFNS grade after neurological resuscitation (rWFNS) as the most accurate predictor of outcome after SAH.


This prospective observational cohort study included 1620 consecutive patients with SAH admitted between January 1998 and December 2014 at our university neurovascular center. The primary outcome measure was a poor modified Rankin Scale score at the 2-month follow-up. Clinical predictors were identified using multivariate logistic regression analyses. Area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) analysis was used to test discriminative performance of the final model. An AUC of > 0.8 was regarded as indicative of a model with good prognostic value.


Poor outcome (modified Rankin Scale Score 4–6) was observed in 25% of the patients. The rWFNS grade was a significantly stronger predictor of outcome than the admission WFNS grade. The rWFNS grade was significantly associated with poor outcome (p < 0.001) as well as increasing age (p < 0.001), higher modified Fisher grade (p < 0.001), larger aneurysm size (p < 0.001), and the presence of an intracerebral hematoma (OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.2–2.8; p = 0.002). The final model had an AUC of 0.87 (95% CI 0.85–0.89), which indicates excellent prognostic value regarding the discrimination between poor and good outcome after SAH.


In clinical practice and future research, neurological assessment and grading of patients should be performed using the rWFNS to obtain the best representation of their clinical condition.