Surgical approach to giant intracranial aneurysms

Operative experience with 80 cases

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  • 1 Cerebral Vascular Research Center, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
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✓ The authors report experience with the surgical management of 80 giant intracranial aneurysms (> 2.5cm in diameter) during a 10-year period in which they performed 594 operations for aneurysms. The overall incidence of giant aneurysms was 13% but varied according to location: 20% of aneurysms of the internal carotid artery (ICA); 13% of middle cerebral artery (MCA) aneurysms; 1% of anterior cerebral artery (ACA) aneurysms; 15% of aneurysms of the basilar artery caput (BAC); and 18% of vertebrobasilar trunk(VB) aneurysms. Twenty-five patients had a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), 49 had mass effect from the aneurysm, and six had ischemic events. There was no apparent difference in results related to the presence or absence of an SAH. Poor results were attributable to the operation except in the two cases of ACA aneurysm in which preexisting dementia persisted. Mortality was 4% and morbidity was 14%, varying from a combined low morbidity-mortality of 8% for ICA lesions to a high of 50% for BAC aneurysms. During the period of the study, different techniques were developed in an attempt to lower the risks of surgery.Ultimately ICA aneurysms were monitored with cerebral blood flow measurements and electroencephalography before and after temporary ICA ligation, then approached following resection of the anterior clinoid or treated with bypass in combination with ICA ligation. Aneurysms of the MCA were either opened during temporary MCA occlusion or resected in combination with a bypass procedure. Bypass grafts and circulatory arrest with extracorporeal circulation may have a role in giant aneurysms of the posterior circulation.

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