Ten-year analysis of saccular aneurysms in the Barrow Ruptured Aneurysm Trial

J Neurosurg 132:771–776, 2020

The authors present the 10-year results of the Barrow Ruptured Aneurysm Trial (BRAT) for saccular aneurysms. The 1-, 3-, and 6-year results of the trial have been previously reported, as have the 6-year results with respect to saccular aneurysms. This final report comparing the safety and efficacy of clipping versus coiling is limited to an analysis of those patients presenting with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) from a ruptured saccular aneurysm.

METHODS In the study, 362 patients had saccular aneurysms and were randomized equally to the clipping and the coiling cohorts (181 each). The primary outcome analysis was based on the assigned treatment group; poor outcome was defined as a modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score > 2 and was independently adjudicated. The extent of aneurysm obliteration was adjudicated by a nontreating neuroradiologist.

RESULTS There was no statistically significant difference in poor outcome (mRS score > 2) or deaths between these 2 treatment arms during the 10 years of follow-up. Of 178 clip-assigned patients with saccular aneurysms, 1 (< 1%) was crossed over to coiling, and 64 (36%) of the 178 coil-assigned patients were crossed over to clipping. After the initial hospitalization, 2 of 241 (0.8%) clipped saccular aneurysms and 23 of 115 (20%) coiled saccular aneurysms required retreatment (p < 0.001). At the 10-year follow-up, 93% (50/54) of the clipped aneurysms were completely obliterated, compared with only 22% (5/23) of the coiled aneurysms (p < 0.001). Two patients had documented rebleeding, both died, and both were in the assigned and treated coiled cohort (2/83); no patient in the clipped cohort (0/175) died (p = 0.04). In 1 of these 2 patients, the hemorrhage was not from the target aneurysm but from an incidental basilar artery aneurysm, which was coiled at the same time.

CONCLUSIONS There was no significant difference in clinical outcomes between the 2 assigned treatment groups as measured by mRS outcomes or deaths. Clinical outcomes in the patients with posterior circulation aneurysms were better in the coiling group at 1 year, but after 1 year this difference was no longer statistically significant. Rates of complete aneurysm obliteration and rates of retreatment favored patients who actually underwent clipping compared with those who underwent coiling. Clinical trial registration no.: NCT01593267 (clinicaltrials.gov)

Analysis of Wide-Neck Aneurysms in the Barrow Ruptured Aneurysm Trial

Neurosurgery, Volume 85, Issue 5, November 2019, Pages 622–631

Ruptured wide-neck aneurysms (WNAs) are difficult to treat and few publications have compared clipping to coiling.

OBJECTIVE: To determine, using Barrow Ruptured Aneurysm Trial (BRAT) data: (1) How many aneurysms had a wide neck? (2) Did wide-neck status influence treatment? (3) How did clipping compare to coiling for WNAs?

METHODS: A post hoc analysis was conducted of saccular WNAs in the BRAT. A WNA was defined as maximum neck width ≥ 4 mm or maximum aneurysm dome-diameter–toneck-width ratio < 2. Both intent-to-treat and as-treated analyses were performed.

RESULTS: Of the 327 patients analyzed, 177 (54.1%) had a WNA. WNAs were more likely to occur in older patients (P = .03) with worse presenting clinical grade (P = .02), were more likely to arise from the middle cerebral artery, basilar tip, or internal carotid artery other than the junction with the posterior communicating artery (P = .001) and were associated with worse clinical outcomes at all time points (P ≤ .01). WNAs were equally distributed in assigned treatment groups (clip 56.6% vs coil 51.8%; P = .38), but were overrepresented in the actual clipping group (clip 62.4% vs coil 37.6%, P < .001). Most patients (76.7%) in the coil-to-clip crossover group had a WNA. Comparing clipping to coiling, there was no difference in clinical outcomes at any time point in either analysis (P ≥ .33). The aneurysm obliteration rate was lower (P< .001) and the retreatment rate higher (P< .001) in the actual coiling group.

CONCLUSION: Wide-neck status significantly impacted treatment strategy in the BRAT, favoring clipping. Clipping and coiling of ruptured WNAs resulted in statistically similar long-term clinical outcomes.

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