Unruptured intracranial aneurysm as a cause of cerebral ischemia

Department of Neurology, Toulouse University, Toulouse, France.
Clinical neurology and neurosurgery (Impact Factor: 1.13). 10/2010; 113(1):28-33. DOI: 10.1016/j.clineuro.2010.08.016
Source: PubMed


Unruptured intracranial artery aneurysms (IAs) can be revealed by cerebral ischemia. Little is known on the clinical course and outcome of patients with this condition. We report our findings in a consecutive series of 15 such patients.
We retrospectively analyzed patients with ischemic stroke (IS) or transient ischemic attack (TIA), unruptured IA on the symptomatic cerebral artery, and no other potential cause of cerebral ischemia consecutively treated in a tertiary stroke unit.
Fifteen patients (ten women, and five men) were identified. Their mean age was 49.7 years (range, 37-80 years). Ten patients presented with IS, and five with TIA. The median diameter of IA was 7.5mm (range, 2.5-23 mm). Aneurysm thrombosis was found on imaging in 9/10 patient with IS, and 1/5 patients with TIA (p=0.017). Thirteen patients were given an antiplatelet agent. Mean follow-up until last visit or treatment of aneurysm was 393 days (median 182 days; range, 6-1825 days). There was no ischemic recurrence. Partial or complete recanalization of aneurysm thrombosis occurred in 7/10 patients. Two patients, both with initial aneurysmal thrombosis and on antiplatelet therapy, experienced aneurysm rupture.
Unruptured IA is a rare cause of IS/TIA. IS is associated with aneurysm thrombosis. Our findings suggest that aneurysm thrombosis is a dynamic process which is associated with a low rate of ischemic recurrence on antiplatelet therapy but may be followed by subarachnoid hemorrhage.

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