Visual outcomes for surgical treatment of large and giant carotid ophthalmic segment aneurysms

Vision after aneurysm clipping with suction decompression

J Neurosurg 118:937–946, 2013

The authors report their results in a series of large or giant carotid ophthalmic segment aneurysms clipped using retrograde suction decompression.

Methods. A retrospective review of clinical data and treatment summaries was performed for 18 patients with large or giant carotid artery ophthalmic segment aneurysms managed operatively via retrograde suction decompression. Visual outcomes, Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) scores, and operative complications were determined. Postoperative angiography was assessed.

Results. During a 17-year period, 18 patients underwent surgery performed using retrograde suction decompression. The mean aneurysm size was 26 mm. Three patients presented with subarachnoid hemorrhage. Fourteen of 18 patients presented with visual symptoms. Eleven (79%) of these 14 patients experienced visual improvement and the remaining 3 (21%) experienced worsened vision after surgery. Of 3 patients without visual symptoms and a complete visual examination before and after surgery, 1 had visual worsening postoperatively. One aneurysm required trapping and bypass, and all others could be clipped. Postoperative angiography demonstrated complete occlusion in 9 of 17 clipped aneurysms and neck remnants in the other 8 clipped aneurysms. One (5.5%) of 18 patients experienced a stroke. Eighteen patients had a GOS score of 5 (good outcome), and 1 patient had a GOS score of 4 (moderately disabled). There were no deaths. There was no morbidity related to the second incision or decompression procedure. Prolonged improvement did occur, and even in some cases of visual worsening in 1 eye, the overall vision did improve enough to allow driving.

Conclusions. Retrograde suction decompression greatly facilitates surgical clipping for large and giant aneurysms of the ophthalmic segment. Visual preservation and improvement occur in the majority of these cases and is an important outcome measure. Developing endovascular technology must show equivalence or superiority to surgery for this specific outcome.