Aspirin associated with decreased rate of intracranial aneurysm growth

J Neurosurg 133:1478–1485, 2020

Aspirin has emerged as a potential agent in the prevention of rupture of intracranial aneurysms (IAs). In this study, the authors’ goal was to test if aspirin is protective against aneurysm growth in patients harboring multiple IAs ≤ 5 mm.

METHODS The authors performed a retrospective review of a prospectively maintained database covering the period July 2009 through January 2019. Patients’ data were included if the following criteria were met: 1) the patient harbored multiple IAs; 2) designated primary aneurysms were treated by surgical/endovascular means; 3) the remaining aneurysms were observed for growth; and 4) a follow-up period of at least 5 years after the initial treatment was available. Demographics, earlier medical history, the rupture status of designated primary aneurysms, aneurysms’ angiographic features, and treatment modalities were gathered.

RESULTS The authors identified 146 patients harboring a total of 375 IAs. At the initial encounter, 146 aneurysms were treated and the remaining 229 aneurysms (2–5 mm) were observed. During the follow-up period, 24 (10.48%) of 229 aneurysms grew. All aneurysms observed to grow later underwent treatment. None of the observed aneurysms ruptured. Multivariate analysis showed that aspirin was significantly associated with a decreased rate of growth (odds ratio [OR] 0.19, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.05–0.63). Variables associated with an increased rate of growth included hypertension (OR 14.38, 95% CI 3.83–53.94), drug abuse (OR 11.26, 95% CI 1.21–104.65), history of polycystic kidney disease (OR 9.48, 95% CI 1.51–59.35), and subarachnoid hemorrhage at presentation (OR 5.91, 95% CI 1.83–19.09).

CONCLUSIONS In patients with multiple IAs, aspirin significantly decreased the rate of aneurysm growth over time. Additional prospective interventional studies are needed to validate these findings.

Relationship of Growth to Aneurysm Rupture in Asymptomatic Aneurysms ≤ 7 mm: A Systematic Analysis of the Literature

Neurosurgery 68:1164–1171, 2011 DOI: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e31820edbd3

The apparent paradox of natural history data suggesting low rupture risk of small asymptomatic aneurysms and the median size of aneurysm rupture remains unexplained. Aneurysm growth rates and their potential relationship with rupture risk have not been well examined in natural history studies.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the question of whether small asymptomatic aneurysms ≤ 7 mm that are followed up over time rupture and to determine the relationship between aneurysm growth and rupture.

METHODS: We reviewed all publications on unruptured aneurysms published from 1966 to 2009. We then selected all aneurysms ≤ 7 mm for which measurements were reported for at least 2 time points and for which initial asymptomatic status and ultimate outcome (rupture vs unruptured) were reported. Using the Mann-Whitney U test, we compared absolute diameter annual growth rate.

RESULTS: Our search retrieved 64 aneurysms. Thirty aneurysms ruptured during followup, of which 27 were enlarged before rupture (90%). Thirty-four aneurysms did not rupture, of which 24 enlarged during follow-up (71%). There was a statistically significant trend toward larger absolute diameter growth for ruptured aneurysms vs unruptured aneurysms (3.89 ± 2.34 vs 1.79 ± 1.02 mm; P < .001), respectively. Annual growth rates for aneurysms for the 2 groups, however, were not statistically different (27.46 ± 18.76 vs 32.00 ± 29.30; P = .92).

CONCLUSION: Small aneurysms are prone to growth and rupture. Aneurysm rupture is more likely to occur in aneurysms with larger absolute diameter growth, but rupture can also occur in the absence of growth. The annual growth rate in both groups suggests that rate of growth of aneurysms is highly variable and unpredictable, justifying treatment or close diagnostic follow-up.