Very small intracranial aneurysm

Very small intracranial aneurysm

Very small intracranial aneurysm (VSIA) (< 3 mm).

Ruptured VSIA group has higher percentage of females and lower aspect ratio than ruptured non-VSIA group. Further studies regarding the characteristics of ruptured and unruptured VSIA patients is required for assistance in clinical decision related to treatment of VSIA group before the aneurysm sac rupture 1).

The most common site of rupture of very small aneurysm was the anterior communicating artery (ACoA). Rupture of small and very small aneurysms is unpredictable, and treatment may be considered in selected high-risk patients according to factors such as young age, ACoA location, and hypertension 2).

Treatment of very small unruptured intracranial aneurysms (VSUIAs, defined as ≤3 mm) can be indicated in selected circumstances. The feasibility and outcomes of endovascular therapy for VSUIAs have been recently published; however, the efficacy and complication rate of surgical clipping has not been reported in any large series to date.

In a study, 183 patients (128 women, mean age 51.3 years) were treated with 190 procedures for a total of 228 aneurysms. Most were anterior circulation aneurysms (n = 215). The majority were directly clipped (n = 222, 97.4%), with coagulation or wrapping in the remainder. After 1 reoperation for incomplete clipping, postoperative imaging of 225 aneurysms confirmed complete occlusion in 221 (98.2%), 1 neck remnant (0.44%), and 3 partial occlusions (1.3%). Mortality was 0%. Early postoperative neurological deficit developed in 12 patients (6.6%); posterior circulation location was a significant risk factor for early neurological deficit (P < .001). Middle cerebral artery aneurysms had the lowest rate of postoperative deficits at 1.5% (P = .023). After the initial 30-day perioperative period, all deficits related to treatment of posterior circulation aneurysms recovered; overall neurological morbidity decreased to 2.7% with no mortality.

VSUIA clipping is highly effective and is associated with a low morbidity rate. For VSUIAs selected for treatment, our data support surgical clipping as the modality of choice 3).

Aneurysms treated with a Pipeline Embolization Device in vessels less than 2.5 mm between June 2012 and August 2014 were included. They evaluated risk factors, family history of aneurysms, aneurysm characteristics, National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS), and modified Rankin scale (mRS) on admission and angiography and clinical outcome at discharge, 6 months, and 1 year.

They included seven patients with a mean age of 65 years. The parent vessel size ranged from 1.5 to 2.3 mm; mean 1.9 mm. Location of the aneurysms was as follows: two aneurysms centered along the pericallosal artery (one left, one right), one on the right angular artery, one aneurysm at the anterior communicating artery (ACom), one at the ACom-right A2 anterior cerebral artery (ACA), one at the lenticulostriate artery, and one at the A1-A2 ACA artery. Aneurysms ranged from 1 to 12 mm in diameter. All aneurysms were treated with a single Pipeline™ Embolization Device (PED). No peri- or post-procedural complications or mortality occurred. The patients were discharged with no change in NIHSS or mRS score. Angiographic follow-up was available in six patients. Angiography showed complete aneurysm occlusion in all. NIHSS and mRS remained unchanged at follow-up.

The preliminary results show that flow diversion technology is an effective and safe therapy for aneurysms located on small cerebral arteries. Larger studies with long-term follow-up are needed to validate our promising results 4).


Park GT, Kim JH, Jung YJ, Chang CH. Characteristics of patients with ruptured very small intracranial aneurysm sized less than 3 mm. J Cerebrovasc Endovasc Neurosurg. 2020 Oct 22. doi: 10.7461/jcen.2020.E2020.07.001. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33086456.

Lee GJ, Eom KS, Lee C, Kim DW, Kang SD. Rupture of Very Small Intracranial Aneurysms: Incidence and Clinical Characteristics. J Cerebrovasc Endovasc Neurosurg. 2015 Sep;17(3):217-22. doi: 10.7461/jcen.2015.17.3.217. Epub 2015 Sep 30. PubMed PMID: 26526401; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4626345.

Bruneau M, Amin-Hanjani S, Koroknay-Pal P, Bijlenga P, Jahromi BR, Lehto H, Kivisaari R, Schaller K, Charbel F, Khan S, Mélot C, Niemela M, Hernesniemi J. Surgical Clipping of Very Small Unruptured Intracranial Aneurysms: A Multicenter International Study. Neurosurgery. 2016 Jan;78(1):47-52. doi: 10.1227/NEU.0000000000000991. PubMed PMID: 26317673.

Puri AS, Massari F, Asai T, Marosfoi M, Kan P, Hou SY, Howk M, Perras M, Brooks C, Clarencon F, Gounis MJ, Wakhloo AK. Safety, efficacy, and short-term follow-up of the use of Pipeline™ Embolization Device in small (<2.5mm) cerebral vessels for aneurysm treatment: single institution experience. Neuroradiology. 2015 Dec 23. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 26700827.

Idiopathic intracranial hypertension surgery

Idiopathic intracranial hypertension surgery

Systematic reviews

Prospective studies on the surgical options for Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) are scant and no evidence-based guidelines for the surgical management of medically refractory IIH have been established. A search in Cochrane LibraryMEDLINE and EMBASE from 1 January 1985 to 19 April 2019 for controlled or observational studies on the surgical treatment of IIH (defined in accordance with the modified Dandy or the modified Friedman criteria) in adults yielded 109 admissible studies. Venous sinus stenting (VSS) improved papilledemavisual fields and headaches in 87.1%, 72.7%, and 72.1% of the patients respectively, with a 2.3% severe complication rate and 11.3% failure rate. Cerebrospinal fluid diversion techniques diminished papilledema, visual field deterioration, and headaches in 78.9%, 66.8%, and 69.8% of the cases and are associated with a 9.4 severe complication rate and a 43.4% failure rate. Optic nerve sheath fenestration ameliorated papilledema, visual field defects and headaches in 90.5, 65.2%, and 49.3% of patients. The severe complication rate was 2.2% and the failure rate was 9.4%. This is currently the largest systematic review for the available operative modalities for IIH. VSS provided the best results in headache resolution and visual outcomes, with low failure rates and a very favorable complication profile. In light of this, Venous sinus stenting ought to be regarded as the first-line surgical modality for the treatment of medically refractory IIH 1).


Idiopathic intracranial hypertension patients may require surgical management when maximal medical treatment has failed.

Controversy still exists about which is the preferred initial surgical treatment for IIH. Emerging procedures include venous sinus stenting in cases with venous sinus stenosis, and bariatric surgery for weight loss. Cranial (suboccipital or subtemporal) decompression was a more popular surgical procedure in the past, but can still have a role in selected cases with impaired cerebrospinal flow dynamics (e.g. Chiari malformation) or after multiple failed conventional surgical procedures 2).

Venous sinus stenting ought to be regarded as the first-line surgical modality for the treatment of medically refractory IIH 3).

The election will likely be based on local expertise until well designed, multicentered clinical trials clarify which intervention best suits a particular patient 4).

The visual outcomes of these procedures are favorable, though they tend to be associated with a high rate of complication and failure. Recent trials suggest that venous sinus stenting offers both comparable rates of efficacy – with improved papilledema in 97% of patients, resolved headache in 83%, and improved visual acuity in 78% – and improved safety and reliability relative to older surgical techniques.

Patients whose sight is threatened by medically refractory IIH must often consider invasive procedures to control their disease. Venous sinus stenting may offer equal efficacy and lower failure and complication rates than traditional surgical approaches such as optic nerve sheath fenestration and cerebrospinal fluid diversion.

Several surgical treatment modalities, including lumboperitoneal shunt or ventriculoperitoneal shunt surgery, subtemporal decompression, endovascular venous sinus stenting, optic nerve decompression (OND), were used in the management of idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH). Each surgical technique has different advantages and disadvantages. Endoscopic OND is rarely used in the management of IIH. There are only forteen reported cases 5).


Cerebrospinal fluid diversion procedures

The most commonly performed surgical treatments for IIH are cerebrospinal fluid diversion procedures (e.g. ventriculo- and lumboperitoneal shunts).

Lumboperitoneal shunt

see Lumboperitoneal shunt for idiopathic intracranial hypertension

Ventriculoperitoneal shunt

see Ventriculoperitoneal shunt for pseudotumor cerebri

Transverse sinus stenting

see Transverse sinus stenting for idiopathic intracranial hypertension.

Optic nerve sheath fenestration

see Optic nerve sheath fenestration.

Subtemporal decompression

see Subtemporal decompression.


1) , 3)

Kalyvas A, Neromyliotis E, Koutsarnakis C, Komaitis S, Drosos E, Skandalakis GP, Pantazi M, Gobin YP, Stranjalis G, Patsalides A. A systematic review of surgical treatments of idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH). Neurosurg Rev. 2020 Apr 25. doi: 10.1007/s10143-020-01288-1. [Epub ahead of print] Review. PubMed PMID: 32335853.

Spitze A, Malik A, Lee AG. Surgical and endovascular interventions in idiopathic intracranial hypertension. Curr Opin Neurol. 2014 Feb;27(1):69-74. doi: 10.1097/WCO.0000000000000049. PubMed PMID: 24296639.

Uretsky S. Surgical interventions for idiopathic intracranial hypertension. Curr Opin Ophthalmol. 2009 Nov;20(6):451-5. doi: 10.1097/ICU.0b013e3283313c1c. Review. PubMed PMID: 19687737.

Sencer A, Akcakaya MO, Basaran B, Yorukoglu AG, Aydoseli A, Aras Y, Sencan F, Satana B, Aslan I, Unal OF, Izgi N, Canbolat A. Unilateral endoscopic optic nerve decompression for idiopathic intracranial hypertension: a series of 10 patients. World Neurosurg. 2014 Nov;82(5):745-50. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2014.03.045. Epub 2014 Apr 2. PubMed PMID: 24704940.

Intracranial Meningioma Surgery Indications in Elderly

Intracranial Meningioma Surgery Indications in Elderly

Since the number of elderly people with intracranial meningiomas (IM) continues to rise, surgical treatment has increasingly become a considerable treatment option, even in very old (≥ 80 years old) meningioma patients. Since little is known about whether intracranial meningioma surgery in this age group is safe and justified, Rautalin et al. conducted a systematic review to summarize the results of surgical outcomes in very old meningioma patients. They performed a systematic literature search in PubmedCochrane Library, and Scopus databases. Primarily, they extracted 1-month and 1-year survival rates, and 1-year morbidity rates, as well as information about preoperative morbidity, operative complications, meningioma size, location, histology, and peritumoral edemaQuality of the included studies was evaluated by Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions and Critical Appraisal Skills Program. From the 1039 reviewed articles, seven retrospective studies fulfilled the eligibility criteria. Motor deficits (27-65%) and mental changes (51-59%) were the most common indications for surgery. One-month and 1-year mortality rates varied between 0-23.5% and 9.4-27.3%, respectively. Most of the operated IM patients (41.2-86.5%) improved their performance during postoperative follow-up. Impaired preoperative performance and comorbidities were most commonly related to higher postoperative mortality. None of the studies fulfilled the criteria of high quality. Based on the evidence currently available, surgical treatment of very old IM patients seems to improve the performance of highly selected individuals. Given the rapid increase of the aging population, more detailed retrospective studies, as well as prospective studies, are needed to prove the outcome benefits of surgery in this patient group 1).

The Japanese population features the highest rate of elderly individuals worldwide. Moreover, Japan has the highest number of computed tomography/magnetic resonance imaging devices in the world, which has led to an increase in the incidental detection of meningioma in healthy elderly patients. Many previous papers have discussed the risks and indications for surgery in this patient population, but available information remains insufficient, and the definition of “elderly” has not been standardized. This review tried to clarify the published evidence and challenges associated with elderly meningioma based on a search of the PubMed database using the terms “meningioma,” “elderly,” and “surgery” for English-language clinical studies and collected related papers published from 2000 to 2016. Twenty-four papers were reviewed and classified by definition of elderly age: over 60, 65, 70, and 80 years old. Six of seven papers that defined the elderly cutoff as over 65 years old were published after 2010, which suggested the consensus definition. Four preoperative grading scoring systems were described and associated with mortality. The 1-year and 5-year mortality rates ranged from 0% to 16.7% and from 7% to 27%, which were comparable with unselected cohorts. Review of risk factor analysis emphasized the importance of considering the preoperative status, presence of comorbidities, and optimum surgical timing during patient selection. Careful choice of patients can also lead to better quality of life. A prospective randomized study considering patient frailty should address the causes and prevention of complications 2).

The results of a study suggested that age should not be a limitation in surgical indications in patients older than 70 years old with intracranial meningioma. No statistical differences were found in functional status compared with conservative management or in surgical complications between younger and elderly patients 3).

A grading system, called the Clinical-Radiological Grading System (CRGS), was developed to standardize surgical indications in elderly patients harboring intracranial meningiomas. Patients with a score lower than 10 had a bad prognosis regardless of surgical treatment, those with a score between 10 and 12 had a prognosis positively influenced by surgery, and those with a score higher than 12 had a good prognosis regardless of surgical treatment. The authors performed a prospective cross-sectional study to validate further the use of the CRGS as a clinical tool to orientate surgical decision making in elderly patients and to explore prognostic factors of survival.

From 1990 to 2000 the authors consecutively recruited and surgically treated 90 patients 70 years of age or older with neuroimaging findings of intracranial meningiomas and a preoperative evaluation based on the CRGS. The surgical mortality rate, which covers deaths within 3 months after surgical intervention, was 7.8%, and the 1-year mortality rate was 15.6%. Female sex and a higher CRGS score were associated with a higher probability of survival. Among the different subset items of the CRGS score, no peritumoral edema for surgical survival and no concomitant diseases for 1-year survival provide the strongest predictive contribution, even if not at a statistically significant level.

The CRGS score is a useful and practical tool for the selection of elderly patients affected by intracranial meningiomas as surgical candidates. A CRGS score higher than 10 and female sex are good prognostic factors of survival. whereas age is not a contraindication to surgery 4).

For Buhl et al. age, in general, was not a contraindication for operation. In cases of incidental findings of small meningiomas, we recommend observation and MRI follow-up. Symptomatic meningiomas should be removed whenever there is an acceptable risk from an internal or anesthesiological point of view 5).

Few authors have reported on patients who have undergone surgery for intracranial meningiomas in their 9th decade of life, without providing indications regarding the surgical criteria and the prognostic factors. We report on a series of 17 patients who have received surgery for intracranial meningiomas in their 9th decade of life, with the goal of determining some surgical criteria for general physicians and neurosurgeons. Patients with severe systemic disease and definite functional limitations (American Society of Anesthesiology Class III) had major postoperative morbidity (P = 0.020) and mortality (P = 0.005), especially if they scored low (< 70) on the preoperative Karnofsky Rating Scale (P = 0.010). The risk of postoperative morbidity was higher when the maximum diameter of the tumor was > 5 cm (P = 0.031) 6).

Arienta et al. studied 46 cases of intracranial meningioma in patients over 70 years of age, 34 patients were operated on while 12 patients were not, although both groups were subjected to long term follow-up. The operative mortality rate was 12%, a rate which increased to 20% at 3 months follow-up. Various unfavourable prognostic factors were taken into consideration, the most significant of which were: poor overall clinical condition, peritumoral oedema, the presence of diabetes mellitus and the duration of surgery. A scored grading system was created to standardize surgical indications in elderly patients with cerebral meningioma. An analysis of the grading system, when applied to patients submitted to surgery, showed that the decreased patients within 3 months of surgery had a score which varied from 7 to 12, with a mean score of 10. The surviving patients had a score averaging from 10 to 16 with a mean of 13. The patients with the lowest scores (7-9) had a 100% mortality rate while those in the upper ranges (13-16) demonstrated a mortality rate of 0%. Among the conservatively treated patients the worst outcome was seen in patients with a grading equal to or less than 12 7).

Papo in 1983 stated that after 65, postoperative complications and mortality increased steeply: of the patients over 65 in whom the growth was excised 55% died. The radical surgery of intracranial meningiomas in geriatric patients over 65 still remains a tremendous challenge despite all the advances in operative technique, neuro anesthesia, and intensive care. On these grounds, in such patients surgical indications should be carefully evaluated 8).



Rautalin I, Niemelä M, Korja M. Is surgery justified for 80-year-old or older intracranial meningioma patients? A systematic review. Neurosurg Rev. 2020 Apr 4. doi: 10.1007/s10143-020-01282-7. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 32248508.

Ikawa F, Kinoshita Y, Takeda M, Saito T, Yamaguchi S, Yamasaki F, Iida K, Sugiyama K, Arita K, Kurisu K. Review of Current Evidence Regarding Surgery in Elderly Patients with Meningioma. Neurol Med Chir (Tokyo). 2017 Oct 15;57(10):521-533. doi: 10.2176/nmc.ra.2017-0011. Epub 2017 Aug 15. Review. PubMed PMID: 28819091; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5638779.

Troya Castilla M, Chocrón Gonzalez Y, Márquez Rivas FJ. [Complications and outcomes in the elderly with intracranial meningioma]. Rev Esp Geriatr Gerontol. 2016 Mar-Apr;51(2):82-7. doi: 10.1016/j.regg.2015.06.004. Epub 2015 Jul 17. Spanish. PubMed PMID: 26195279.

Caroli M, Locatelli M, Prada F, Beretta F, Martinelli-Boneschi F, Campanella R, Arienta C. Surgery for intracranial meningiomas in the elderly: a clinical-radiological grading system as a predictor of outcome. J Neurosurg. 2005 Feb;102(2):290-4. PubMed PMID: 15739557.

Buhl R, Hasan A, Behnke A, Mehdorn HM. Results in the operative treatment of elderly patients with intracranial meningioma. Neurosurg Rev. 2000 Mar;23(1):25-9. PubMed PMID: 10809483.

Mastronardi L, Ferrante L, Qasho R, Ferrari V, Tatarelli R, Fortuna A. Intracranial meningiomas in the 9th decade of life: a retrospective study of 17 surgical cases. Neurosurgery. 1995 Feb;36(2):270-4. PubMed PMID: 7731506.

Arienta C, Caroli M, Crotti F, Villani R. Treatment of intracranial meningiomas in patients over 70 years old. Acta Neurochir (Wien). 1990;107(1-2):47-55. PubMed PMID: 2096608.

Papo I. Intracranial meningiomas in the elderly in the CT scan era. Acta Neurochir (Wien). 1983;67(3-4):195-204. PubMed PMID: 6846076.
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