Safety and Efficacy of Intraoperative Angiography in Craniotomies for Cerebral Aneurysms and Arteriovenous Malformations

Intraoperative angiography in aneurysms surgery

Neurosurgery 71:1162–1169, 2012

In an era of indocyanine angiography, the routine use of intraoperative angiography (IOA) in the surgical treatment of aneurysms and vascular malformations is controversial.

OBJECTIVE: To retrospectively assess the safety and efficacy of IOA and to determine predictors of surgical revision.

METHODS: Between 2003 and 2011, IOA was performed during surgical treatment of 976 aneurysms, 101 arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), and 16 arteriovenous fistulas.

RESULTS: In 80 of 976 aneurysms (8.2%), IOA prompted clip repositioning. The reason for readjustment was residual aneurysm in 54.7%, parent vessel occlusion in 42.9%, and both in 2.4% of cases. In multivariate analysis, increasing aneurysm size (P,.001), ruptured aneurysm (P,.001), and increasing number of vessels injected (P,.001) were strong predictors of clip readjustment. There was a strong trend for posterior circulation aneurysm location to predict clip repositioning (P = .06). IOA revealed residual nidus/ fistula requiring further intervention in 9 of 101 AVMs (8.9%) and 3 of 16 arteriovenous fistulas (18.8%). Of 9 AVMs requiring a surgical revision, 2 (22.2%) were Spetzler-Martin grade II, 5 (55.6%) were grade III, and 2 (22.2%) were grade IV. Mean Spetzler-Martin grade was 3.0 in AVMs requiring surgical revision compared with 2.3 in those not requiring revision (P = .05). IOA-related complications were all transient or minor and occurred in 0.99% of patients; none resulted in permanent morbidity.

CONCLUSION: IOA remains a valuable tool in the surgical treatment of brain vascular abnormalities, guiding surgical re-exploration in >8% of cases. Easy access to an angiographer and routine use of IOA are important factors contributing to procedural safety and efficacy.