A review on imaging techniques and quantitative measurements for dynamic imaging of cerebral aneurysm pulsations

Sci Rep. 2021 Jan 26;11(1):2175. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-81753-z.


Measurement of intracranial aneurysm wall motion may refine the current rupture risk estimation. A golden standard for measuring aneurysm pulsation is lacking. The aim is to evaluate magnitudes of aneurysm pulsation as published in current literature. Embase and PubMed were searched for publications containing quantitative measures of cardiac-cycle related cerebral aneurysm pulsation (no date or language restrictions). Eleven studies were included, covering 197 unruptured and untreated cerebral aneurysms. Quantitative pulsation measurements were extracted from the studies. Characteristics of the study population and aneurysms were taken into account, as well as the imaging modality, scanning technique and data processing methods used. A meta-analysis was performed of studies with similar methodologies and individual IA measures and locations. The magnitude of the absolute volume pulsations varied between 14 ± 9 mm3 and 106 ± 123 mm3 and the mean relative volume change varied between 5 and 36%. The meta-analysis revealed a positive correlation between size and absolute volume change. The relative volume change in Basilar artery aneurysms seems smaller. No authors were contacted for original study data and articles only describing visual pulsations were excluded. The variation in methodologies impedes an accurate estimation of the magnitude of IA pulsations. Validation of aneurysm pulsation measurement is crucial prior to clinical studies evaluating IA pulsatility in relation to IA rupture risk. Prerequisite is a reliable and robust imaging method with high spatial and temporal resolution and standardization of the image analysis methods.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods*
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / diagnostic imaging*
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / pathology
  • Organ Size