Risk-benefit analysis of the treatment of unruptured intracranial aneurysms.

Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry

PubMedID: 15654039

Vindlacheruvu RR, Mendelow AD, Mitchell P. Risk-benefit analysis of the treatment of unruptured intracranial aneurysms. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatr. 2005;76(2):234-9.
OBJECTIVES
To determine under what circumstances repair of unruptured intracranial aneurysms may be beneficial.

METHODS
A life expectancy analysis of patients with unruptured aneurysms with and without repair based on prospective data from the International Study of Unruptured Intracranial Aneurysms (ISUIA).

RESULTS
Life years are lost at all ages by repairing anterior circulation aneurysms under 7 mm in diameter in patients with no history of a subarachnoid haemorrhage from another aneurysm (incidental). For all other aneurysms the number of life years saved by repair is dependent on the patient's age at the time when repair is undertaken. Between 2 and 40 years are saved by repairing aneurysms in patients aged 20 years. These benefits fall to 0 when remaining life expectancy falls below 15-35 years, corresponding to the age range of 45-70 years.

CONCLUSIONS
Repair of unruptured aneurysms benefits patients harbouring them by improving life expectancy except in certain circumstances. The exceptions are patients with remaining life expectancy less than 15-35 years or aged 45-70 (depending on aneurysm size and location) and patients with aneurysms of the anterior circulation under 7 mm in diameter with no history of a previous subarachnoid haemorrhage. These results are based on the findings of the ISUIA and are dependent on their accuracy.