Bacterial intracranial aneurysm

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✓ The authors tabulate and analyze cases of bacterial intracranial aneurysm documented since 1954, and add four of their own. In 85 cases the overall mortality was 46%. Elimination of patients dying before reaching the hospital makes this figure spuriously low. Figures for patients hospitalized for endocarditis before neurological symptoms occurred suggest a true mortality of 80% from aneurysms that rupture and 30% if the aneurysm remains intact. Multiple reports of spontaneously resolving, enlarging, diminishing, multiple, and sequentially appearing aneurysms, all of which occurred in our fourth case, clarify the need for complete and sequential angiography. Computerized tomographic (CT) scanning in this disease has not been reported, but our experience with these scans demonstrates considerable potential value.

A protocol of complete cerebral angiography and CT scanning of these neurologically asymptomatic patients is proposed, in order to assess the true incidence of bacterial intracranial aneurysm, to learn more of its natural history, and to prevent some neurological catastrophes.

Article Information

Contributor Notes

Address reprint requests to: Jim L. Story, M.D., Division of Neurosurgery, University of Texas Health Science Center, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, Texas 78284.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.

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