Diagnostic and prognostic potential of circulating miRNAs for intracranial aneurysms

Neurosurg Rev. 2020 Oct 23. doi: 10.1007/s10143-020-01427-8. Online ahead of print.


Intracranial aneurysm (IA) is an abnormal focal dilation of an artery in the brain that results from a weakening of the inner muscular layer of a blood vessel wall. IAs represent the most common etiology of nontraumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Despite technological advances in the treatment and use of new diagnostic methods for IAs, they continue to pose a significant risk of mortality and disability. Thus, early recognition of IA with a high risk of rupture is crucial for the stratification of patients with such a formidable disease. MicroRNAs (miRNA) are endogenous noncoding RNAs of 18-22 nucleotides that regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level through interaction with 3'-untranslated regions (3'UTRs) of the target mRNAs. MiRNAs are involved in the pathogenesis of IAs, including in the mechanisms of formation, growth, and rupture. It is known that in many biological fluids of the human body, such as blood or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), numerous miRNAs, called circulating miRNAs, have been detected. The expression profile of circulating miRNAs represents a certain part of the cells in which they are modified and secreted in accordance with the physiological or pathological conditions of these cells. Circulating miRNAs can be secreted from cells into human biological fluids in extracellular vesicles or can be bound to Ago2 protein, which makes them resistant to the effects of RNAse. Therefore, circulating miRNAs are considered as new potential biomarkers of interest in many diseases, including IA.

Keywords: Biomarkers; Circulating miRNAs; Intracranial aneurysms; aSAH.

Publication types

  • Review