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Neurosurgery. 2006 Apr;58(4):719-27; discussion 719-27.

Is routine intraoperative angiography in the surgical treatment of cerebral aneurysms justified? A consecutive series of 147 aneurysms.

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Department of Radiology, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, New York 10021, USA.



The role of intraoperative angiography (IA) in the surgical treatment of cerebral aneurysms has remained extremely controversial. We determine the frequency and predictors of unanticipated findings necessitating clip adjustment established on postoperative angiography (PA) in a consecutive series of 147 aneurysms. On the basis of published series, we discuss the utility, safety, accuracy, and cost effectiveness of adjunct IA in the surgical treatment of cerebral aneurysms.


We retrospectively examined the charts of 124 consecutive patients harboring 147 aneurysms that were surgically clipped between December 2000 and March 2005 and had PA available for review. Patient demographics, aneurysm size, location, Hunt and Hess score, Fisher grade, mode of aneurysm discovery, time between discovery and surgery, and PA results, as determined by a blinded independent neuroradiologist, were recorded.


PA demonstrated two (1.4%) unexpected residuals, four anticipated residuals (2.7%), and four (2.7%) vessel compromises. Of the six unanticipated outcomes, two of two (100%) unexpected residuals and three of four (75%) vessel compromises were from large aneurysms (P = 0.0001 each). Middle cerebral artery aneurysms comprised 5 of 10 (50%) imperfect outcomes (three expected remnants and two vessel occlusions), which trended toward significance (P = 0.06).


IA is recommended during the surgical clipping of complex or large aneurysms and some middle cerebral artery aneurysms. High cost-benefit ratio, false-negative rate, and moderate risk, however, preclude routine use. With future technological advances, IA may warrant broader use by replacing postoperative studies in the neurosurgical management of intracranial aneurysms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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