Fusiform aneurysms are uncommon compared with their saccular counterparts, yet they remain very challenging to treat and are associated with high rates of rebleeding and morbidity. Lack of a true aneurysm neck renders simple clip reconstruction or coil embolization usually impossible, and more advanced techniques are required, including bypass, stent-assisted coiling, and, more recently, flow diversion. In this article, the authors review posterior circulation fusiform aneurysms, including pathogenesis, natural history, and endovascular treatment, including the role of flow diversion. In addition, the authors propose an algorithm for treatment based on their practice.
Ahmed J. Awad, Justin R. Mascitelli, Reham R. Haroun, Reade A. De Leacy, Johanna T. Fifi, and J Mocco
Benjamin K. Hendricks, James S. Yoon, Kurt Yaeger, Christopher P. Kellner, J Mocco, Reade A. De Leacy, Andrew F. Ducruet, Michael T. Lawton, and Justin R. Mascitelli
Wide-necked aneurysms (WNAs) are a variably defined subset of cerebral aneurysms that require more advanced endovascular and microsurgical techniques than those required for narrow-necked aneurysms. The neurosurgical literature includes many definitions of WNAs, and a systematic review has not been performed to identify the most commonly used or optimal definition. The purpose of this systematic review was to highlight the most commonly used definition of WNAs.
The authors searched PubMed for the years 1998–2017, using the terms “wide neck aneurysm” and “broad neck aneurysm” to identify relevant articles. All results were screened for having a minimum of 30 patients and for clearly stating a definition of WNA. Reference lists for all articles meeting the inclusion criteria were also screened for eligibility.
The search of the neurosurgical literature identified 809 records, of which 686 were excluded (626 with < 30 patients; 60 for lack of a WNA definition), leaving 123 articles for analysis. Twenty-seven unique definitions were identified and condensed into 14 definitions. The most common definition was neck size ≥ 4 mm or dome-to-neck ratio < 2, which was used in 49 articles (39.8%). The second most commonly used definition was neck size ≥ 4 mm, which was used in 26 articles (21.1%). The rest of the definitions included similar parameters with variable thresholds. There was inconsistent reporting of the precise dome measurements used to determine the dome-to-neck ratio. Digital subtraction angiography was the only imaging modality used to study the aneurysm morphology in 87 of 122 articles (71.3%).
The literature has great variability regarding the definition of a WNA. The most prevalent definition is a neck diameter of ≥ 4 mm or a dome-to-neck ratio of < 2. Whether this is the most appropriate and clinically useful definition is an area for future study.
Justin R. Mascitelli, Michael T. Lawton, Benjamin K. Hendricks, Trevor A. Hardigan, James S. Yoon, Kurt A. Yaeger, Christopher P. Kellner, Reade A. De Leacy, Johanna T. Fifi, Joshua B. Bederson, Felipe C. Albuquerque, Andrew F. Ducruet, Lee A. Birnbaum, Jean Louis R. Caron, Pavel Rodriguez, and J Mocco
Randomized controlled trials have demonstrated the superiority of endovascular therapy (EVT) compared to microsurgery (MS) for ruptured aneurysms suitable for treatment or when therapy is broadly offered to all presenting aneurysms; however, wide neck aneurysms (WNAs) are a challenging subset that require more advanced techniques and warrant further investigation. Herein, the authors sought to investigate a prospective, multicenter WNA registry using rigorous outcome assessments and compare EVT and MS using propensity score analysis (PSA).
Untreated, ruptured, saccular WNAs were included in the analysis. A WNA was defined as having a neck ≥ 4 mm or a dome/neck ratio (DNR) < 2. The primary outcome was the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score at 1 year posttreatment, as assessed by blinded research nurses (good outcome: mRS scores 0–2) and compared using PSA.
The analysis included 87 ruptured aneurysms: 55 in the EVT cohort and 32 in the MS cohort. Demographics were similar in the two cohorts, including Hunt and Hess grade (p = 0.144) and modified Fisher grade (p = 0.475). WNA type inclusion criteria were similar in the two cohorts, with the most common type having a DNR < 2 (EVT 60.0% vs MS 62.5%). More anterior communicating artery aneurysms (27.3% vs 18.8%) and posterior circulation aneurysms (18.2% vs 0.0%) were treated with EVT, whereas more middle cerebral artery aneurysms were treated with MS (34.4% vs 18.2%, p = 0.025). Within the EVT cohort, 43.6% underwent stand-alone coiling, 50.9% balloon-assisted coiling, 3.6% stent-assisted coiling, and 1.8% flow diversion. The 1-year mRS score was assessed in 81 patients (93.1%), and the primary outcome demonstrated no increased risk for a poor outcome with MS compared to EVT (OR 0.43, 95% CI 0.13–1.45, p = 0.177). The durability of MS was higher, as evidenced by retreatment rates of 12.7% and 0% for EVT and MS, respectively (p = 0.04).
EVT and MS had similar clinical outcomes at 1 year following ruptured WNA treatment. Because of their challenging anatomy, WNAs may represent a population in which EVT’s previously demonstrated superiority for ruptured aneurysm treatment is less relevant. Further investigation into the treatment of ruptured WNAs is warranted.
Justin R. Mascitelli, J Mocco, Trevor Hardigan, Benjamin K. Hendricks, James S. Yoon, Kurt A. Yaeger, Christopher P. Kellner, Reade A. De Leacy, Johanna T. Fifi, Joshua B. Bederson, Felipe C. Albuquerque, Andrew F. Ducruet, Lee A. Birnbaum, Jean Louis R. Caron, Pavel Rodriguez, and Michael T. Lawton
Numerous techniques have been developed to treat wide-neck aneurysms (WNAs), each with different safety and efficacy profiles. Few studies have compared endovascular therapy (EVT) with microsurgery (MS). The authors’ objective was to perform a prospective multicenter study of a WNA registry using rigorous outcome assessments and to compare EVT and MS using propensity score analysis (PSA).
Unruptured, saccular, not previously treated WNAs were included. WNA was defined as an aneurysm with a neck width ≥ 4 mm or a dome-to-neck ratio (DTNR) < 2. The primary outcome was modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score at 1 year after treatment (good outcome was defined as mRS score 0–2), as assessed by blinded research nurses and compared with PSA. Angiographic outcome was assessed using the Raymond scale with core laboratory review (adequate occlusion was defined as Raymond scale score 1–2).
The analysis included 224 unruptured aneurysms in the EVT cohort (n = 140) and MS cohort (n = 84). There were no differences in baseline demographic characteristics, such as proportion of patients with good baseline mRS score (94.3% of the EVT cohort vs 94.0% of the MS cohort, p = 0.941). WNA inclusion criteria were similar between cohorts, with the most common being both neck width ≥ 4 mm and DTNR < 2 (50.7% of the EVT cohort vs 50.0% of the MS cohort, p = 0.228). More paraclinoid (32.1% vs 9.5%) and basilar tip (7.1% vs 3.6%) aneurysms were treated with EVT, whereas more middle cerebral artery (13.6% vs 42.9%) and pericallosal (1.4% vs 4.8%) aneurysms were treated with MS (p < 0.001). EVT aneurysms were slightly larger (p = 0.040), and MS aneurysms had a slightly lower mean DTNR (1.4 for the EVT cohort vs 1.3 for the MS cohort, p = 0.010). Within the EVT cohort, 9.3% of patients underwent stand-alone coiling, 17.1% balloon-assisted coiling, 34.3% stent-assisted coiling, 37.1% flow diversion, and 2.1% PulseRider-assisted coiling. Neurological morbidity secondary to a procedural complication was more common in the MS cohort (10.3% vs 1.4%, p = 0.003). One-year mRS scores were assessed for 218 patients (97.3%), and no significantly increased risk of poor clinical outcome was found for the MS cohort (OR 2.17, 95% CI 0.84–5.60, p = 0.110). In an unadjusted direct comparison, more patients in the EVT cohort achieved a good clinical outcome at 1 year (93.4% vs 84.1%, p = 0.048). Final adequate angiographic outcome was superior in the MS cohort (97.6% of the MS cohort vs 86.5% of the EVT cohort, p = 0.007).
Although the treatments for unruptured WNA had similar clinical outcomes according to PSA, there were fewer complications and superior clinical outcome in the EVT cohort and superior angiographic outcomes in the MS cohort according to the unadjusted analysis. These results may be considered when selecting treatment modalities for patients with unruptured WNAs.