Location-based treatment of intracranial aneurysms in moyamoya disease: a systematic review and descriptive analysis

Anthony S. Larson, Lorenzo Rinaldo, Waleed Brinjikji, Giuseppe Lanzino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We conducted a systematic review of the literature to evaluate the efficacy of various treatment modalities for intracranial aneurysms (IA) in patients with moyamoya disease (MMD) based on anatomical location of IA. A comprehensive review of studies documenting single cases or series of MMD patients with concomitant IA was conducted. Aneurysms were classified into two primary anatomical categories: those of the Circle of Willis (CoW) and those of peripheral “moyamoya” collateral vessels. Conservative, endovascular, and open surgical treatment modalities and their outcomes between each anatomical subgroup were descriptively compared. A total of 124 studies consisting of 275 patients with 313 IA were included. Of all IA, 59.6% were located on CoW vessels, 33.7% on peripheral vessels, and 6.7% in “other” locations. Of all CoW IA, 87.2% treated with endovascular techniques had no or minimal deficit at follow-up as compared with 56.7% of those treated with open surgery. Ninety-five percent of patients with peripheral aneurysms treated with endovascular therapy had no or minimal deficit, in contrast to open surgery (69.6%). Of peripheral IA treated conservatively with or without revascularization, 65.7% had spontaneous resolution as compared with 12.0% IA of the CoW. Our results support the use of endovascular techniques for direct treatment of both CoW and peripheral IA. Aneurysms of peripheral vessels respond well to indirect treatment through surgical revascularization as opposed to CoW aneurysms. The quality of evidence is limited due to heterogeneity of included studies and IA management in MMD patients should be considered in a case-specific manne.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1127-1139
Number of pages13
JournalNeurosurgical Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • Aneurysm
  • Endovascular
  • Microsurgery
  • Moyamoya disease
  • Revascularization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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