Population-based data on pediatric patients with aneurysms are limited. The aim of this study is to clarify the characteristics and long-term outcomes of pediatric patients with aneurysms.
All pediatric patients (≤ 18 years old) with aneurysms among the 8996 aneurysm patients treated at the Department of Neurosurgery in Helsinki from 1937 to 2009 were followed from admission to the end of 2010.
There were 114 pediatric patients with 130 total aneurysms during the study period. The mean patient age was 14.5 years (range 3 months to 18 years). The male:female ratio was 3:2. Eighty-nine patients (78%) presented with subarachnoid hemorrhage. The majority of the aneurysms (116 [89%]) were in the anterior circulation, and the most common location was the internal carotid artery bifurcation (36 [28%]). The average aneurysm diameter was 11 mm (range 2–55 mm) with 16 giant aneurysms (12%). Eighty aneurysms (62%) were treated microsurgically, and 37 (28%) were treated conservatively due to poor medical and neurological status of the patient or due to technical reasons during the early years of the patient series. No connective tissue disorders common to pediatric aneurysm patients were diagnosed in this series, with the exception of 1 patient with tuberous sclerosis complex. The mean follow-up duration was 24.8 years (range 0–55.8 years). At the end of follow-up, 71 patients (62%) had a good outcome, 3 (3%) were dependent, and 40 (35%) had died. Twenty-seven deaths (68%) were assessed to be aneurysm-related. Factors correlating with a favorable long-term outcome were good neurological condition of the patient on admission, aneurysm location in the anterior circulation, complete aneurysm closure, and absence of vasospasm. Six patients developed symptomatic de novo aneurysms after a median of 25 years (range 11–37 years). Fourteen patients (12%) had a family history of aneurysms. There was no increased incidence for cardiovascular diseases in long-term follow-up.
Most aneurysms were ruptured and of medium size. Internal carotid artery bifurcation was the most frequent location of the aneurysms. There was a male predominance of pediatric patients with aneurysms. Most patients experienced good recovery, with 91% of the long-term survivors living at home independently without assistance and meaningfully employed. Altogether, almost a third of these patients finished high school and one-fifth had a college or university degree. Pediatric patients had a tendency to develop de novo aneurysms.