Endovascular treatment of unruptured intracranial aneurysms in the elderly: Analysis of procedure related complications

M. F. Stiefel, M. S. Park, Cameron McDougall, F. C. Albuquerque

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Introduction: The management of unruptured intracranial aneurysms in the elderly remains controversial. Treatment risks are thought to be higher in this group. Large series assessing endovascular treatment of unruptured intracranial aneurysms in the elderly are lacking. Our single center endovascular experience in treating unruptured intracranial aneurysms in the elderly is presented. Methods: 77 patients, 70 years or older, were referred to the endovascular neurosurgery service for treatment of an unruptured intracranial aneurysm between February 2000 and May 2008. Hospital records, operative reports, angiograms and radiology reports were reviewed and analyzed retrospectively. Results: 99 aneurysms were treated in 77 patients in 102 procedures. Mean patient age was 75±4 years, and the average aneurysm size was 11±7 mm. Adjuvant techniques were used in 66% of cases. Endovascular procedures included coiling alone (32%), balloon assisted coiling (19%), stent assisted coiling (37%), balloon assisted stent and coiling (8%), stent only (1%) and glue (2%). The permanent morbidity and mortality rates were 1% and 3%, respectively. Four adverse events were attributed to the patient's age. Posterior circulation aneurysms were associated with more adverse events (41%) than anterior circulation aneurysms (14%). Endovascular treatments using adjuvant techniques were associated with a higher complication rate than coiling alone. Conclusions: With only a 4% permanent rate of neurological morbidity and mortality, endovascular treatment of unruptured aneurysms can be performed safely in the elderly. Age should not be the limiting factor when considering endovascular therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-15
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of NeuroInterventional Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2010
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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