Risk of intracranial aneurysm recurrence after microsurgical clipping based on 3D digital subtraction angiography

J Neurosurg 138:717–723, 2023

Current knowledge of recurrence rates after intracranial aneurysm (IA) surgery relies on 2D digital subtraction angiography (DSA), which fails to detect more than 75% of small aneurysm remnants. Accordingly, the discrimination between recurrence and growth of a remnant remains challenging, and actual assessment of recurrence risk of clipped IAs could be inaccurate. The authors report, for the first time, 3D-DSA–based long-term durability and risk factor data of IA recurrence and remnant growth after microsurgical clipping.

METHODS Prospectively collected data for 305 patients, with a total of 329 clipped IAs that underwent baseline 3DDSA, were evaluated. The incidence of recurrent IA was described by Kaplan-Meier curves. Risk factors for IA recurrence were analyzed by multivariable Cox proportional hazards and logistic regression models.

RESULTS The overall observed proportion of IA recurrence after clipping was 2.7% (9 of 329 IAs) at a mean followup of 46 months (0.7% per year). While completely obliterated IAs did not recur during follow-up, incompletely clipped aneurysms (76 of 329) demonstrated remnant growth in 11.8% (3.4% per year). Young age and large initial IA size significantly increased the risk of IA recurrence.

CONCLUSIONS The findings support those in previous studies that hypothesized that completely clipped IAs have an extremely low risk of recurrence. Conversely, the results highlight the significant risk posed by incompletely clipped IAs. Young patients with initial large IAs and incomplete obliteration have an especially high risk for IA recurrence and therefore should be monitored more closely.