Limitations of three-dimensional reconstructed computerized tomography angiography after clip placement for intracranial aneurysms

J Neurosurg. 2005 Oct;103(4):656-61. doi: 10.3171/jns.2005.103.4.0656.


Object: The authors compared the usefulness of three-dimensional (3D) reconstructed computerized tomography (CT) angiography with 3D digital subtraction (DS) angiography in assessing intracranial aneurysms after clip placement. A retrospective review of clinical cases was performed.

Methods: Between May 2001 and May 2003, 17 patients with a total of 20 intracranial aneurysms underwent 3D CT and 3D DS angiography following clip placement. The authors assessed the presence or absence of residual aneurysm necks and stenoocclusive changes in the parent artery and the neighboring artery. The efficacy of CT angiographic visualization was also evaluated. In 12 of the 20 aneurysms, both 3D modalities similarly demonstrated the residual aneurysm neck and stenoocclusive changes in the parent artery and neighboring artery. Three-dimensional CT angiography failed to demonstrate three of the aneurysms, and the studies were not considered suitable for evaluation because of the presence of metallic artifacts. In the remaining five studies, the 3D CT angiograms did not effectively demonstrate the neighboring and parent arteries. The detectability of residual aneurysm necks was correlated with the clip material and with the number of clips applied.

Conclusions: Three-dimensional DS angiography is still necessary in cases involving multiple clips or with cobalt alloy clips because the clips appear as metal artifacts on 3D CT angiography.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Angiography, Digital Subtraction
  • Artifacts
  • Cerebral Angiography / methods*
  • Cerebral Angiography / standards
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / diagnostic imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Surgical Instruments
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed