Successful endovascular management of brain aneurysms presenting with mass effect and cranial nerve palsy

Neurosurg Rev. 2013 Jan;36(1):87-97; discussion 97. doi: 10.1007/s10143-012-0404-3. Epub 2012 Jul 11.


Aneurysms presented with mass effect are traditionally treated by surgical clipping to decompress their mass effect. The aim of this work is to discuss the efficiency of endovascular techniques in treating 47 patients with variable sizes of intracranial aneurysms presented with mass effect and/or cranial nerve palsy. There were 47 patients with 47 unruptured aneurysms. Group I includes 28 giant aneurysms; all are treated by parent vessel occlusion with or without intra-aneurysmal occlusion depending on anatomical locations. Group II includes 19 small and large aneurysms; all are treated by selective endosaccular occlusion with coils. Clinical presentations were ocular cranial nerve dysfunction (82.9%), optic nerve or chiasmatic dysfunction (21.2%), brain stem compression (8.5%), embolic (6%), epistaksis (4%), proptosis (2%), and bleeding per ear (2%). Out of 47 patients, symptoms were resolved in 31 cases (66%), improved in 10 cases (21%), and unchanged in six cases (13%). Out of 28 giant aneurysms, symptoms were resolved in 19 (68%), improved in four (14%), and unchanged in five (18%). Only four (14%) patients out of the 19 giant aneurysms with complete symptoms resolution showed significant mass reduction in MRI. Out of 19 non-giant aneurysm cases treated by selective endovascular occlusion with coils, symptoms were resolved in 12 cases (63%), improved in six (32%), and unchanged in one (5%). No complications from the treatment were observed. The longer the duration of symptoms before endovascular treatment is, the longer the duration till improvement or resolution postoperative in both groups. Recovery of aneurysm-induced mass effect occurs in most patients both after parent vessel occlusion and after selective coiling, and is comparable to results after surgical clipping. The improvement starts independent of aneurysmal shrinkage in postoperative MRI follow-ups. The arrest of pulsations and partial shrinkage within the aneurysms after endovascular treatment may be the logical reason behind neurological recovery.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cranial Nerve Diseases / etiology*
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / methods*
  • Endovascular Procedures / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / complications*
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / surgery*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Ophthalmoplegia / etiology*
  • Paralysis / etiology
  • Recovery of Function
  • Treatment Outcome