Two cases of giant serpentine aneurysm

Neurosurgery. 1990 Jun;26(6):1027-32; discussion 1032-3. doi: 10.1097/00006123-199006000-00018.


Giant serpentine aneurysm (GSA) is an entity defined on radiological and pathological grounds as a giant, partially thrombosed aneurysm containing tortuous vascular channels. We have had the opportunity to study two patients with GSAs, which has allowed for a complete comparative anatomical and radiological study. This report emphasizes the etiology of the GSAs. Twenty-two patients with GSAs have been reported in the literature, of which pathological studies were done in 10. In most of these, the aneurysm was found to be filled with an organized thrombus, but in our patients the aneurysm was filled with relatively new clot. The aneurysm enlarged and a change in the tortuous vascular channel was observed over a period of 1 year in the first patient, whereas a globoid aneurysm developed into a GSA in the brief period of just 2 weeks in the second patient. This rapid transformation of a globoid aneurysm into a GSA is of particular interest when the etiology of GSAs is considered. Our patients therefore shed some interesting light on the possible pathophysiology of GSAs. That is, the bloodstream may change dynamically in a giant aneurysm and may become a serpentine channel under conditions that lead to a "Coanda effect."

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cerebral Arteries / pathology
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertrophy
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / diagnostic imaging
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / pathology*
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / physiopathology
  • Intracranial Embolism and Thrombosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Intracranial Embolism and Thrombosis / pathology
  • Intracranial Embolism and Thrombosis / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed