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J Neurosurg. 1996 Feb;84(2):185-93.

Characteristics and surgical treatment of dolichoectatic and fusiform aneurysms.

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Division of Neurological Surgery, Barrow Neurological Institute, St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, Phoenix, Arizona, USA.


Dolichoectatic and fusiform aneurysms represent a small subset of cerebral aneurysms and are often among the most difficult to treat. A consecutive series of 40 patients with 41 of these two types of aneurysms is presented, including their clinical characteristics and surgical treatments. Common to all aneurysms was the pathological involvement of a length of blood vessel with separate inflow and outflow sites (nonsaccular). However, dolichoectatic aneurysms have markedly different symptoms and surgical treatments depending on their location in either the anterior or posterior circulation. Anterior circulation aneurysms involved the petrous internal carotid artery (ICA) in one, the supraclinoid ICA in three, the middle cerebral artery in 13, and the anterior cerebral artery in four patients. Posterior circulation aneurysms involved the basilar artery in 13, the vertebral artery in six, and the posterior inferior cerebellar artery in one patient. Various surgical procedures were performed, including direct clipping, trapping with bypass, proximal occlusion, resection with reanastomosis, transposition, aneurysmorrhaphy with thrombectomy, and wrapping. There was no surgical mortality in the patient series, and treatment was effective in many patients. Overall, outcome at late follow up was good (Glasgow Outcome Scale scores 1-2) in 78% of patients. Patients with anterior circulation aneurysms had better outcomes than patients with posterior circulation aneurysms, with good outcomes in 90% and 65% of the cases, respectively. Dolichoectatic and giant serpentine aneurysms may develop from smaller fusiform aneurysms and represent a spectrum of the same pathological entity. Arterial dissection may also play a role in the initial development of these aneurysms.

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