Basilar artery trunk saccular aneurysms: morphological characteristics and management

Neurosurg Rev. 2009 Apr;32(2):181-91; discussion 191. doi: 10.1007/s10143-008-0163-3. Epub 2008 Sep 13.


The purpose of this retrospective study was to report the morphological characteristics and results of surgical and endovascular treatment of basilar artery (BA) trunk saccular aneurysms. Twenty-two patients with 22 BA trunk saccular aneurysms underwent surgery including endovascular intervention. In this series, BA trunk aneurysms showed characteristic features such as so-called lateral aneurysm (41%), multiple aneurysms (32%), including two de novo aneurysms, and various vascular anomalies. Eleven craniotomies for neck clipping were performed for 11 ruptured aneurysms. However, in one of these cases, we abandoned neck clipping, because of concern for neck tearing, and embolized it later. Five ruptured and five unruptured aneurysms were successfully treated by endovascular surgery. Another one incompletely embolized aneurysm had grown to a huge size, and the patient underwent a Hunterian ligation with a flow reconstruction. The unusually high incidence of various associated vascular anomalies suggests that focal wall weakness must be based on the mechanism of aneurysm initiation. Most patients presented with subarachnoid hemorrhage. The pretreatment neurological state was predictive for clinical outcome. And, clinical outcomes in this series were not affected by the choice of treatment. However, considering that three of 11 surgical cases needed subsequent treatment, endovascular surgery should be considered as a first choice.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aneurysm, Ruptured / diagnosis
  • Aneurysm, Ruptured / surgery
  • Cerebral Angiography*
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / adverse effects
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / instrumentation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / diagnostic imaging
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / pathology*
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / surgery*
  • Intracranial Thrombosis / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurosurgical Procedures
  • Reoperation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Young Adult