Difference in aneurysm characteristics between ruptured and unruptured aneurysms in patients with multiple intracranial aneurysms

Surg Neurol Int. 2018 Jan 10;9:1. doi: 10.4103/sni.sni_339_17. eCollection 2018.


Background: The risk of aneurysmal rupture is dependent upon numerous factors, however, there are inconsistencies in the results between studies, which may be due to confounding factors. This can be avoided by comparing the characteristics of ruptured and unruptured aneurysms within the same patient. We sought to analyze the aneurysm characteristics of patients with acute aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) and multiple intracranial aneurysms.

Methods: We reviewed our prospectively maintained institutional database, between 01/10/2007 and 01/01/2017, for all patients with confirmed SAH and >1 aneurysm. We recorded the size, location, and morphology and calculated secondary geometric indices such as bottleneck factor and aspect ratio.

Results: During the study period, a total of 694 patients with aneurysmal SAH were admitted to our institution. We identified 113 patients (74.3% female, average age 51.7 ± 12.3). The majority of patients had only one associate unruptured aneurysm (79.6%). The average unruptured aneurysm was 3.1 ± 1.5 mm and the average ruptured aneurysm was 5.7 ± 2.7 mm (P < 0.001). In the multivariate analysis, aneurysm location, aneurysm morphology, and size were independently associated with rupture. A complex aneurysm morphology was the strongest risk factor for rupture (OR, 29.27; 95% CI 14.33-59.78; P < 0.001) with size >7 mm (OR, 17.74; 95% CI 4.07-77.35; P < 0.001), and AcomA location also showing a strong independent association.

Conclusion: Size plays an important part in determining rupture risk, however, other factors such as location and in particular morphology must also be considered. We believe that the introduction of vessel wall imaging will help to risk stratify aneurysms.

Keywords: Aneurysm morphology; aneurysm; aspect ratio; bottleneck factor; lobulation; subarachnoid hemorrhage.