Circumferential wall enhancement in evolving intracranial aneurysms on magnetic resonance vessel wall imaging

J Neurosurg 131:1262–1268, 2019

Recent MR vessel wall imaging studies have indicated intracranial aneurysms in the active state could show circumferential enhancement along the aneurysm wall (CEAW). While ruptured aneurysms frequently show CEAW, CEAW in unruptured aneurysms at the evolving state (i.e., growing or symptomatic) has not been studied in detail. The authors quantitatively assessed the degree of CEAW in evolving unruptured aneurysms by comparing it separately to that in stable unruptured and ruptured aneurysms.

METHODS A quantitative analysis of CEAW was performed in 26 consecutive evolving aneurysms using MR vessel wall imaging. Three-dimensional T1-weighted fast spin echo sequences were obtained before and after contrast media injection, and the contrast ratio of the aneurysm wall against the pituitary stalk (CR stalk ) was calculated as the indicator of CEAW. Aneurysm characteristics of evolving aneurysms were compared with those of 69 stable unruptured and 67 ruptured aneurysms.

RESULTS The CR stalk values in evolving aneurysms were significantly higher than those in stable aneurysms (0.54 vs 0.34, p < 0.0001), and lower than those in ruptured aneurysms (0.54 vs 0.83, p < 0.0002). In multivariable analysis, CR stalk remained significant when comparing evolving with stable aneurysms (odds ratio [OR] 12.23, 95% confidence interval [CI] 3.53–42.41), and with ruptured aneurysms (OR 0.083, 95% CI 0.022–0.310).

CONCLUSIONS The CEAW in evolving aneurysms was higher than those in stable aneurysms, and lower than those in ruptured aneurysms. The degree of CEAW may indicate the process leading to rupture of intracranial aneurysms, which can be useful additional information to determine an indication for surgical treatment of unruptured aneurysms.