The natural history and optimal management of incidentally found small unruptured aneurysms 5 mm in size remain unclear. A prospective study was conducted to determine the optimal management for incidentally found small unruptured aneurysms.
Methods—From September 2000 to January, 2004, 540 aneurysms (446 patients) were registered. Four hundred forty-eight unruptured aneurysms 5 mm in size (374 patients) have been followed up for a mean of 41.0 months (1306.5 person-years) to date. We calculated the average annual rupture rate of small unruptured aneurysms and also investigated risk factors that contribute to rupture and enlargement of these aneurysms.
Results—The average annual risks of rupture associated with small unruptured aneurysms were 0.54% overall, 0.34% for single aneurysms, and 0.95% for multiple aneurysms. Patient 50 years of age (P=0.046; hazard ratio, 5.23; 95% CI, 1.03 to 26.52), aneurysm diameter of 4.0 mm (P=0.023; hazard ratio, 5.86; 95% CI, 1.27 to 26.95), hypertension (P=0.023; hazard ratio, 7.93; 95% CI, 1.33 to 47.42), and aneurysm multiplicity (P=0.0048; hazard ratio, 4.87; 95% CI, 1.62 to 14.65) were found to be significant predictive factors for rupture of small aneurysms.
Conclusions—The annual rupture rate associated with small unruptured aneurysms is quite low. Careful attention should be paid to the treatment indications for single-type unruptured aneurysms 5 mm. If the patient is 50 years of age, has hypertension, and multiple aneurysms with diameters of 4 mm, treatment should be considered to prevent future aneurysmal rupture.