Preclinical extracranial aneurysm models for the study and treatment of brain aneurysms: A systematic review

J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2020 May;40(5):922-938. doi: 10.1177/0271678X20908363. Epub 2020 Mar 3.


Animal models make an important contribution to our basic understanding of the pathobiology of human brain aneurysms, are indispensable in testing novel treatment approaches, and are essential for training interventional neuroradiologists and neurosurgeons. Researchers are confronted with a broad diversity of models and techniques in various species. This systematic review aims to summarize and categorize extracranial aneurysm models and their characteristics, discuss advantages and disadvantages, and suggest the best use of each model. We searched the electronical Medline/PubMed database between 1950 and 2020 to identify main models and their refinements and technical modifications for creation of extracranial aneurysms. Each study included was assessed for aneurysm-specific characteristics, technical details of aneurysm creation, and histological findings. Among more than 4000 titles and abstracts screened, 473 studies underwent full-text analysis. From those, 68 different techniques/models in five different species were identified, analyzed in detail, and then grouped into one of the five main groups of experimental models as sidewall, terminal, stump, bifurcation, or complex aneurysm models. This systematic review provides a compact guide for investigators in selecting the most appropriate model from a range of techniques to best suit their experimental goals, practical considerations, and laboratory environment.

Keywords: Aneurysm; animal model; endovascular therapy; intracranial aneurysm; saccular.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Aneurysm
  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Intracranial Aneurysm*