Vessel wall MRI characteristics of endovascularly treated aneurysms: association with angiographic vasospasm

J Neurosurg. 2018 Sep 21;131(3):859-867. doi: 10.3171/2018.4.JNS172829.


Objective: The aim of this paper was to evaluate the association between intracranial vessel wall MRI enhancement characteristics and the development of angiographic vasospasm in endovascularly treated aneurysm patients.

Methods: Consecutive cases of both ruptured and unruptured intracranial aneurysms that were treated endovascularly, followed by intracranial vessel wall MRI in the immediate postoperative period, were included. Two raters blinded to clinical data and follow-up imaging independently evaluated for the presence, pattern, and intensity of wall enhancement. Development of angiographic vasospasm was independently evaluated. Delayed cerebral ischemia; cerebral infarct; procedural details; and presence and grade of subarachnoid, parenchymal, and intraventricular hemorrhage were evaluated. Statistical associations were determined on a per-vessel segment and per-patient basis.

Results: Twenty-nine patients with 30 treated aneurysms (8 unruptured and 22 ruptured) were included in this study. Interobserver agreement was substantial for the presence of enhancement (κ = 0.67) and nearly perfect for distribution (κ = 0.87) and intensity (κ = 0.84) of wall enhancement. Patients with ruptured aneurysms had a significantly greater number of enhancing segments than those with unruptured aneurysms (29.9% vs 7.2%; OR 5.5, 95% CI 2.2-13.7). For ruptured cases, wall enhancement was significantly associated with subsequent angiographic vasospasm while controlling for grade of hemorrhage (adjusted OR 3.9, 95% CI 1.7-9.4). Vessel segments affected by balloon, stent, or flow-diverter use demonstrated greater enhancement than those not affected (OR 22.7, 95% CI 5.3-97.2 for ruptured; and OR 12.9, 95% CI 3.3-49.8 for unruptured).

Conclusions: Vessel wall enhancement after endovascular treatment of ruptured aneurysms is associated with subsequent angiographic vasospasm.

Keywords: ACA = anterior cerebral artery; DCI = delayed cerebral ischemia; GEE = generalized estimating equations; ICA = internal carotid artery; IVWM = intracranial vessel wall MRI; MCA = middle cerebral artery; SAH = subarachnoid hemorrhage; SPACE = sampling perfection with application of optimized contrast enhancement; TCD = transcranial Doppler; aSAH = aneurysmal SAH; aneurysm; vascular disorders; vasospasm; vessel wall MRI.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aneurysm, Ruptured / diagnostic imaging
  • Aneurysm, Ruptured / surgery*
  • Cerebral Angiography
  • Cohort Studies
  • Endovascular Procedures / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / diagnostic imaging
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / surgery*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / diagnostic imaging
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology*
  • Stents
  • Vasospasm, Intracranial / diagnostic imaging*
  • Vasospasm, Intracranial / etiology*