The deep and difficult-to-reach location of basilar apex aneurysms, along with their location near critical adjacent perforating arteries, has rendered the perception that microsurgical treatment of these aneurysms is risky. As a result, these aneurysms are considered more suitable for treatment by endovascular intervention. The authors attempt to compare the immediate and long-term outcomes of microsurgery versus endovascular therapy for this aneurysm subtype.
METHODS A prospectively maintained database of 208 consecutive patients treated for basilar apex aneurysms between 2000 and 2012 was reviewed. In this group, 161 patients underwent endovascular treatment and 47 were managed microsurgically. The corresponding records were analyzed for presenting characteristics, postoperative complications, discharge status, and Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) scores up to 1 year after treatment and compared using chi-square and Student t-tests.
RESULTS Among these 208 aneurysms, 116 (56%) were ruptured, including 92 (57%) and 24 (51%) of the endovascularly and microsurgically managed aneurysms, respectively. The average Hunt and Hess grade was 2.4 (2.4 in the endovascular group and 2.2 in the microsurgical group; p = 0.472). Postoperative complications of cranial nerve deficits and hemiparesis were more common in patients treated microsurgically than endovascularly (55.3% vs 16.2%, p < 0.05; and 27.7% vs 10.6%, p < 0.05, respectively). However, aneurysm remnants and need for retreatment were more common in the endovascular than the microsurgical group (41.3% vs 2.3%, p < 0.05; and 10.6% vs 0.0%, p < 0.05, respectively). Stent placement significantly reduced the need for retreatment. Rehemorrhage rates and average GOS score at discharge and 1 year after treatment were not statistically different between the two treatment groups.
CONCLUSIONS Patients with basilar apex aneurysms were significantly more likely to be treated via endovascular management, but compared with those treated microsurgically, they had higher rates of recurrence and need for retreatment. The current study did not detect an overall difference in outcomes at discharge and 1 year after either treatment modality. Therefore, in a select group of patients, microsurgical treatment continues to play an important role.
The expansion of endovascular procedures for obliteration of cerebral aneurysms highlights one of the drawbacks of clip ligation through the transcranial route, namely brain retraction or brain transgression. Sporadic case reports have emerged over the past 10 years describing endonasal endoscopic clip ligation of cerebral aneurysms. The authors present a detailed anatomical study to evaluate the feasibility of an endoscopic endonasal approach for application of aneurysm clips.
Methods Nine human cadaveric head specimens were used to evaluate operative exposures for clip ligation of aneurysms in feasible anterior and posterior circulation locations. Measurements of trajectories were completed using a navigation system to calculate skull base craniectomy size, corridor space, and the surgeon’s ability to gain proximal and distal control of parent vessels.
Results In each of the 9 cadaveric heads, excellent exposure of the target vessels was achieved. The transplanum, transtuberculum, and transcavernous approaches were used to explore the feasibility of anterior circulation access. Application of aneurysm clips was readily possible to the ophthalmic artery, A1 and A2 segments of the anterior cerebral artery, anterior communicating artery complex, and the paraclinoid and paraclival internal carotid artery. The transclival approach was explored, and clips were successfully deployed along the proximal branches of the vertebrobasilar system and basilar trunk and bifurcation. The median sizes of skull base craniectomy necessary for exposure of the anterior communicating artery complex and basilar tip were 3.24 cm2 and 4.62 cm2, respectively. The mean angles of surgical corridors to the anterior communicating artery complex and basilar tip were 11.4° and 14°, respectively. Although clip placement was feasible on the basilar artery and its branches, the associated perforating arteries were difficult to visualize, posing unexpected difficulty for safe clip application, with the exception of ventrolateral-pointing aneurysms.
Conclusions The authors characterize the feasibility of endonasal endoscopic clip ligation of aneurysms involving the paraclinoid, anterior communicating, and basilar arteries and proximal control of the paraclival internal carotid artery. The endoscopic approach should be initially considered for nonruptured aneurysms involving the paraclinoid and anterior communicating arteries, as well as ventrolateral basilar trunk aneurysms. Clinical experience will be mandatory to determine the applicability of this approach in practice.
Previous studies have attempted to determine the best treatment for oculomotor nerve palsy (ONP) secondary to posterior communicating artery (PCoA) aneurysms, but have been limited by small sample sizes and limited treatment.
OBJECTIVE: To analyze the treatment of ONP secondary to PCoA with both coiling and clipping in ruptured and unruptured aneurysms.
METHODS: Data from 2 large academic centers was retrospectively collected over 22 years, yielding a total of 93 patients with ONP secondary to PCoA aneurysms. These patients were combined with 321 patients from the literature review for large data analyses. Onset symptoms, recovery, and time to resolution were evaluated with respect to treatment and aneurysm rupture status.
RESULTS: For all patients presenting with ONP (n = 414) 56.6% of those treated with microsurgical clipping made a full recovery vs 41.5% of those treated with endovascular coil embolization (P = .02). Of patients with a complete ONP (n = 229), full recovery occurred in 47.3% of those treated with clipping but in only 20% of those undergoing coiling (P = .01). For patients presenting with ruptured aneurysms (n = 130), full recovery occurred in 70.9% compared with 49.3% coiled patients (P = .01). Additionally, although patients with full ONP recovery had a median time to treatment of 4 days, those without full ONP recovery had a median time to treatment of 7 days (P = .01).
CONCLUSION: Patients with ONP secondary to PCoA aneurysms treated with clipping showed higher rates of full ONP resolution than patients treated with coil embolization. Larger prospective studies are needed to determine the true potential of recovery associated with each treatment.
The authors prospectively analyzed 2 microscope-integrated videoangiography techniques using intravenous indocyanine green (ICG) and fluorescein for assessment of cerebral aneurysm obliteration and adjacent vessel patency.
Methods The authors prospectively enrolled 22 patients who underwent clip ligation of their aneurysm and used intraoperative videoangiography to assess obliteration of the aneurysmal sac and patency of the adjacent branching and perforating arteries. Patients underwent ICG videoangiography (ICG-VA) and the newly developed fluorescein videoangiography (FL-VA) using microscope-integrated fluorescence modules. Two independent observers compared the videoangiography recordings for value and quality to assess aneurysm exclusion and the patency of adjacent arteries.
Results All 22 patients first underwent FL-VA and then ICG-VA after clip application. In 7 cases (32%), FL-VA provided superior detail to assess perforating arteries (4 cases), distal branches (2 cases), and both (1 case); such detail was not readily available on ICG-VA. In 1 patient, ICG-VA offered better visualization of posterior communicating artery aneurysm occlusion than FL-VA because of staining artifact on the aneurysm dome from the adjacent tentorium. In 2 patients, FL-VA offered the needed advantage of real-time manipulation of the vessels and flow assessment by visualization through the operating microscope oculars. In 2 other cases, ICG-VA was more practical for repeat usage because of its more efficient clearance from the intravascular space. The ICG-VA image quality was often degraded at higher magnification in deep operative fields, partly due to chromatic aberration. Both ICG-VA and FL-VA afforded restricted views of vasculature based on the angle of surgical approach and obscuration by blood clot, aneurysm, or brain tissue.
Conclusions Compared with ICG-VA, FL-VA can potentially provide an improved visualization of vasculature at high magnification in deep surgical fields. ICG-VA is more effective for repeated use during clip repositioning due to ICG’s minimal vascular wall extravasation. Therefore, in certain cases, FL-VA may offer some advantages and play a complementary role along with ICG-VA in intraoperative fluorescence evaluation during microsurgical management of aneurysms.
The anterior choroidal artery (AChA) supplies important areas of the nervous system, particularly the posterior limb of the internal capsule and optic radiation. Treatment of AChA aneurysms poses particular challenges because of the complex anatomy of the aneurysm associated with the relatively small diameter of AChAs, making preservation of the parent vessel during clip ligation or endosaccular coiling challenging.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the incidence and features of ischemia in treatment of AChA aneurysms.
METHODS: A prospectively maintained database of patients who underwent treatment of aneurysms from 1985 to 2011 was queried to find patients with AChA aneurysms. Age, sex, Hunt and Hess grade, treatment modality, and complications were analyzed by use of the unpaired Student t test and Fisher exact test.
RESULTS: One hundred twenty-two patients harbored 127 AChA aneurysms, and 67% (82 of 122) had multiple aneurysms. Treatment included 112 microsurgical clip ligations, 8 endosaccular coil embolizations, 5 aneurysmal wrappings, and 2 surgical explorations. Complications developed in 53% (67 of 127) of AChA aneurysms. Postoperative ischemia occurred in 12% (15 of 127) of treated aneurysms. The number of temporary clip applications was most closely associated with postoperative ischemia. Glasgow Outcome Scale scores of 4 or 5 were obtained by 78% at discharge, 89% at 6 months, and 85% at 1 year.
CONCLUSION: The ischemic complication rate from surgical treatment of AChA aneurysms is most closely associated with higher frequency of temporary clip applications for proximal control and may be lower than previously reported. Supplementary intraoperative tools and limitation of vessel manipulation should be used to improve outcomes.
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