Surgical approach to giant intracranial aneurysms. Operative experience with 80 cases

J Neurosurg. 1979 Dec;51(6):731-42. doi: 10.3171/jns.1979.51.6.0731.


The authors report experience with the surgical management of 80 giant intracranial aneurysms (greater than 2.5 cm in diameter) during a 10-year period in which they performed 594 operations for aneurysms. The overall incidence of giant aneurysms was 13% but varied according to location: 20% of aneurysms of the internal carotid artery (ICA); 13% of middle cerebral artery (MCA) aneurysms; 1% of anterior cerebral artery (ACA) aneurysms; 15% of aneurysms of the basilar artery caput (BAC); and 18% of vertebrobasilar trunk (VB) aneurysms. Twenty-five patients had a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), 49 had mass effect from the aneurysm, and six had ischemic events. There was no apparent difference in results related to the presence or absence of an SAH. Poor results were attributable to the operation except in the two cases of ACA aneurysm in which preexisting dementia persisted. Mortality was 4% and morbidity was 14%, varying from a combined low morbidity-mortality of 8% for ICA lesions to a high to 50% for BAC aneurysms. During the period of the study, different techniques were developed in an attempt to lower the risks of surgery. Ultimately ICA aneurysms were monitored with cerebral blood flow measurements and electroencephalography before and after temporary ICA ligation, then approached following resection of the anterior clinoid or treated with bypass in combination with ICA ligation. Aneurysms of the MCA were either opened during temporary MCA occlusion or resected in combination with a bypass procedure. Bypass grafts and circulatory arrest with extracorporeal circulation may have a role in giant aneurysms of the posterior circulation.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Brain Ischemia / etiology
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / physiopathology
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / surgery
  • Cerebral Angiography
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation
  • Constriction
  • Craniotomy
  • Female
  • Hemostasis, Surgical / instrumentation
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / diagnostic imaging
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / physiopathology
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / surgery*
  • Ligation
  • Male
  • Methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed