Endovascular treatment of acutely ruptured and unruptured aneurysms of the basilar bifurcation

J Neurosurg. 1997 Feb;86(2):211-9. doi: 10.3171/jns.1997.86.2.0211.


The surgical treatment of basilar bifurcation aneurysms is difficult and the need for an alternative approach is frequently stated. To assess the efficacy and safety of endovascular treatment of aneurysms located at the basilar bifurcation, the authors prospectively studied angiographic results, clinical results, and complications in 31 patients treated with Guglielmi detachable coils (GDCs). Patients treated acutely after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) were graded according to the Hunt and Hess classification and clinical outcome was determined at 1- and 6-month intervals according to the Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS). There were 18 women and 13 men, ranging in age from 34 to 67 years (mean age 48 years). Twenty-three were treated acutely after SAH. Clinical Hunt and Hess grades at presentation were as follows: Grade I, six patients; Grade II, three; Grade III, 11; Grade IV, two; and Grade V, one. The GOS score for the group of patients treated acutely was: GOS I, 18 patients; GOS II, III, and IV, one patient each; and GOS V, two patients. There were seven technical complications in this group, most often asymptomatic, but one patient died after aneurysm rupture during treatment and one had residual diplopia at 4 months. Eight patients were treated for incidental basilar bifurcation aneurysms. One technical complication with no neurological deficit occurred in this group of patients with incidental aneurysms. Immediate angiographic results were considered to be satisfactory in 94% of patients, with complete obliteration in 42% and residual neck and dog ears in 52%. There was no bleeding episode after treatment during clinical follow-up periods ranging from 3 to 42 months (mean 15.5 months in 29 surviving patients). Angiographic results were available for 27 patients at 6 months and were as follows: 30% of the lesions were completely obliterated, 59% presented some residual neck, and 11% showed some opacification of the aneurysm sac. During the follow-up period of up to 42 months, a total of seven recurrences were noted, necessitating retreatment with GDCs in five patients. Endovascular treatment of basilar bifurcation aneurysms prevented rebleeding and could be performed without clinically significant complications in 94% of patients. Clinical results after SAH compared favorably with surgical series. Morphological results appear less satisfactory, and long-term angiographic follow-up review is mandatory to detect recurrences.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aneurysm, Ruptured / diagnostic imaging
  • Aneurysm, Ruptured / surgery*
  • Basilar Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Basilar Artery / surgery*
  • Cerebral Angiography
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glasgow Coma Scale
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / diagnostic imaging
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / surgery*
  • Intraoperative Complications
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recurrence
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / surgery
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome