BACKGROUND: Giant posterior communicating artery (PCoA) aneurysms (> 25 mm) are rare lesions associated with a poor prognosis and high rates of morbidity and mortality.
OBJECTIVE: To review the clinical results of giant PCoA aneurysms surgically treated at our institution, focusing on operative nuances.
METHODS: All cases of giant PCoA aneurysms treated surgically at our institution were identified from a prospectively maintained patient database. Patient demographic factors, medical comorbidities, rupture status, neurological presentation, clinical outcomes, and surgical records were critically reviewed.
RESULTS: From 1989 to 2010, 11 patients (10 women) underwent surgical clipping of giant PCoA aneurysms. Presenting signs and symptoms included cranial nerve palsies, diminished mental status, headache, visual changes, and seizures. Five aneurysms were ruptured on admission. All aneurysms were clipped primarily except 1, which was treated by parent artery sacrifice and extracranial-to-intracranial bypass after intraoperative aneurysm rupture. Perioperative morbidity and mortality rates were 36% (4 of 11) and 18.3% (2 of 11), respectively. Excellent or good clinical outcomes, defined as modified Rankin Scale scores ≤ 2, were achieved in 86% (5 of 6) of patients available for long-term clinical follow-up (mean, 12.5 ± 13.6 months).
CONCLUSION: Giant PCoA aneurysms are rare vascular lesions that may present with a variety of neurological signs and symptoms. These lesions can be successfully managed surgically with satisfactory morbidity and mortality rates. To the best of our knowledge, this is the largest surgical series of giant PCoA aneurysms published to date.
ABBREVIATIONS: CN, cranial nerve
ICA, internal carotid artery
ICG, indocyanine green
MCA, middle cerebral artery
PCoA, posterior communicating artery