Objective: To compare surgical clipping with endovascular coiling in terms of recovery from oculomotor nerve palsy (ONP) in the management of posterior communicating artery (PCoA) aneurysms causing third nerve palsy.
Methods: We conducted a systematic review of the literature and meta-analysis.
Results: The meta-analysis included 11 relevant studies involving 384 patients with third nerve palsy caused by PCoA aneurysms at baseline, of whom 257 (67.0%) were treated by clipping and 127 were treated by coiling (33.0%). Pooled odds ratios of the impact of clipping or coiling on complete ONP recovery, lack of ONP recovery, and procedure-related death were calculated. The overall complete ONP recovery rate was 42.5% in the coiling group compared with 83.6% in the clipping group. The increase in complete ONP recovery in the clipping group corresponds to an overall pooled Mantel-Haenszel odds ratio of 4.44 (95% confidence interval = 1.66-11.84). Subgroup analysis revealed a clear benefit of clipping over coiling in patients with ruptured aneurysms, but not in patients with unruptured aneurysms. No procedure-related deaths were reported by any of the 11 studies.
Conclusions: Surgical clipping of PCoA aneurysms causing third nerve palsy achieves better ONP recovery than endovascular coiling; this could be particularly true in the case of ruptured aneurysms. In view of the purely observational data, statements about this effect should be made with great caution. A randomized trial would better address the therapeutic dilemma, but pending the results of such a trial, we recommend treating PCoA aneurysms causing ONP with surgery.
Keywords: Endovascular procedure; Intracranial aneurysm; Meta-analysis; Microsurgery; Oculomotor nerve diseases.
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