Risk factors for growth of conservatively managed unruptured intracranial aneurysms

Enrico Giordan, Thomas J. Sorenson, Waleed Brinjikji, Roanna Vine, Giuseppe Lanzino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: Unruptured intracranial aneurysms (UIAs) occur in 2–3% of the adult population, but, once discovered, do not always require treatment. Untreated patients are usually followed with serial imaging to identify interval growth. In this study, we assessed the risk and risk factors for growth in a homogenous series of patients with conservatively managed UIAs. Methods: Data from consecutive patients without history of subarachnoid hemorrhage and a conservatively managed UIA were retrospectively reviewed and only patients with at least 2 years of radiological follow-up were included in our study. We evaluated patients for the incidence of UIA growth, as well as analyzed risk factors for UIA growth. Results: In 349 patients and 385 conservatively managed UIAs with 2210 patient-years of radiological follow-up, the risk of growth was 2.9% per aneurysm-year. Size (diameter greater than 5 mm), location (basilar artery apex), and weight loss (decrease in BMI over follow-up period) were all significantly associated with increased risk of UIA growth. There was a greater risk of UIA growth during the first 3 years of follow-up (7.5% per aneurysm-year) compared to the remaining years (2.7% per aneurysm-year). Conclusions: Conservatively managed UIAs in patients without prior history of SAH have a 2.9% risk of growth per aneurysm-year. UIAs greater than 5 mm in diameter, those located at the basilar artery apex, or patients who experience a decrease in BMI are more likely to grow and warrant closer follow-up. The risk of aneurysm growth is increased in the few years after diagnosis and decreases afterward.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2419-2423
Number of pages5
JournalActa Neurochirurgica
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018


  • Body mass index
  • Growth
  • Location
  • Rupture
  • Size
  • Unruptured intracranial aneurysms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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