Intracranial aneurysms are found in about 6% of the general populations. Risk factors for aneurysm development are family history, connective tissue diseases, age, female sex, smoking, and substance abuse. Although many remain asymptomatic, aneurysmal ruptures are associated with near 50% mortality and high morbidity – i.e. neurological deficits resulting from the rupture. Surviving patients can be treated surgically by placing a clip excluding the aneurysm via a craniotomy (portion of the skull is removed) or endovascularly depending on the location and morphology of the aneurysm as well as the patient’s clinical condition.
Endovascular Aneurysm Treatment
Neurointerventional radiologists treat aneurysms by packing the lumen of the aneurysm with metallic fibers, known as coils. The procedure is performed in the interventional radiology suite with fluoroscopic guidance. General anesthesia or conscious sedation is required. A thin catheter is placed into the common femoral artery and subsequently advanced to the artery supplying the aneurysm in the brain. Once a micro-catheter is advanced into the lumen of the aneurysm, coils are placed to exclude the aneurysm from the circulation. Electively treated patients with asymptomatic aneurysms are admitted overnight and routinely discharged the following day or two.