Imaging characteristics of growing and ruptured vertebrobasilar non-saccular and dolichoectatic aneurysms

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22 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose - Vertebrobasilar, nonsaccular, and dolichoectatic aneurysms generally have a poor natural history. We performed a study examining the natural history of vertebrobasilar, nonsaccular, and dolichoectatic aneurysms receiving serial imaging and studied imaging characteristics associated with growth and rupture. Methods - We included all vertebrobasilar dolichoectatic, fusiform, and transitional aneurysms with serial imaging follow-up seen at our institution over a 15-year period. Two radiologists and a neurologist evaluated aneurysms for size, type, mural T1 signal, mural thrombus, daughter sac, mass effect, and tortuosity. Primary outcomes were aneurysm growth or rupture. Univariate analysis was performed with chi-squared tests for categorical variables and Student's t test or analysis of variance for continuous variables. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to identify variables independently associated with aneurysm growth or rupture. Results - One hundred and fifty-two patients with 542 patient-years (mean 3.6±3.5 years) of imaging follow-up were included. Aneurysms were fusiform in 45 cases (29.6%), dolichoectatic in 75 cases (49.3%), and transitional in 32 cases (21.1%). Thirty-five aneurysms (23.0%) grew (growth rate=6.5%/year). Eight aneurysms (5.3%) ruptured (rupture rate=1.5%/year). Variables associated with growth and rupture on univariate analysis were size >10 mm (57.6% versus 16.0%, P<0.0001), mural T1 signal (39.7% versus 16.3%, P=0.001), daughter sac (56.3% versus 21.3%), and mural thrombus (45.5% versus 13.4%, P<0.0001). 26.7% of fusiform aneurysms, 9.3% of dolichoectatic aneurysms, and 59.4% of transitional aneurysms grew or ruptured (P<0.0001). The only variable independently associated with rupture was transitional morphology (P=0.003). Conclusions - Vertebrobasilar, nonsaccular, and dolichoectatic aneurysms are associated with a poor natural history with high growth and rupture rates. Further research is needed to determine the best treatments for this disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-112
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • aneurysm
  • human
  • stroke
  • subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • thrombosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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