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Ahmed J. Awad, Justin R. Mascitelli, Reham R. Haroun, Reade A. De Leacy, Johanna T. Fifi, and J Mocco

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.

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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

OBJECTIVE

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.

METHODS

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.

RESULTS

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%).

CONCLUSIONS

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.

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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

OBJECTIVE

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).

METHODS

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.

RESULTS

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).

CONCLUSIONS

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.