Objective: To describe the clinical results in patients with aneurysms of the vertebral artery and posterior inferior cerebellar artery complex (VA-PICA) treated by endovascular embolization or surgically in cases considered untreatable by endovascular methods.
Patients and methods: During a 5-year-period a total of 28 patients with a VA-PICA complex aneurysm out of 600 patients received definitive treatment, 19 patients by endovascular embolization and 9 patients surgically. Mean age was 54 years (range 9-75 years). Clinical data, intraoperative observations and procedural complications were evaluated. The mean follow-up was 9 months.
Results: Hunt-Hess (HH) grades were HH 0-II in 10 patients (35.7 %), HH III in 6 patients (21.4 %) and HH IV + V in 12 patients (42.9 %). Aneurysm size ranged from 2 to 40 mm (mean size 5.5 mm). Aneurysm configuration was saccular 18, fusiform 7 and multilobed 3. Complete occlusion was achieved in all cases. Overall 67.9 % (n = 19) showed a favorable outcome (Glasgow Outcome Score IV + V). Overall procedure-related rate for permanent morbidity and mortality was 3.6 % (n = 1) and 3.6 % (n = 1), respectively. Predictive factors of clinical outcome were the initial clinical HH grade and the Fisher grade.
Conclusion: Endovascular embolization is an effective method for the treatment of VA-PICA aneurysms. Surgical clipping is still an alternative and should be considered for "uncoilable" lesions. Outcomes showed a close correlation to the initial clinical state and were not dependent on the treatment modality.