Unruptured Giant Intracerebral Aneurysms: Serious Trouble Requiring Serious Treatment – Case Report and Literature Review
Giant intracranial aneurysms (ICGA) represent 3 to 5% of all intracranial aneurysms in adults. They are defined as arterial dilatations, with more than 25 mm in diameter. Despite important advances in the research of endovascular techniques of treating giant intracranial aneurysms, the management of these vascular malformations still poses great difficulties for neurologists and interventional radiologists. In particular, these challenges arise from the difficult and modified cerebral anatomy of patients with ICGA. Choosing the best treatment for patients with ICGA involves not only finding the perfect balance between the potential risks and benefits of endovascular treatment, but also taking into consideration the patient’s biological condition and associated diseases.
The aim of this paper is to describe the decisional algorithm of treating patients with giant intracranial aneurysms and factors which could influence the choice of endovascular technique.
We report a clinical case of a 63-year-old female with cardio-vascular risk factors (atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure), diagnosed with a symptomatic giant aneurysm of the right internal carotid artery and multiple cerebral micro-bleeds. Given the very large size of the aneurysm, its characteristics as well as patient’s associated comorbidities, it was decided to exclude the ICA aneurysm from circulation by occluding the parent vessel (right internal carotid artery) by using endovascular techniques.
Also, a review of the literature on the currently available endovascular methods for treating patients with giant intracranial aneurysms was performed in order to see the indications and possible long-term complications of each method.
In selected cases, the risks of serious complications associated with occluding a large cervical-cerebral vessel (as the internal carotid artery) are far exceeded by the risk for rupture of giant aneurysms, which is fatal in many cases. Nevertheless, it is of utmost importance to mention that, although the use of endovascular methods leads to a significant increase in life expectancy, a severe decline in quality of life might be experienced by these patients.
Keywords: unruptured giant cerebral aneurysm, interventional neuro-radiology, occlusion of internal carotid artery (ICA), review of the literature, cerebral microhaemorrhages