Vol 45, No 5 (2011)

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Methods and time schedule for follow-up of intracranial aneurysms treated with endovascular embolization: a systematic review

Zbigniew Serafin1, Piotr Strześniewski1, Władysław Lasek1, Wojciech Beuth2
DOI: 10.1016/S0028-3843(14)60309-1
Neurol Neurochir Pol 2011;45(5):421-430.


Background and purpose

To review the diagnostic value of angiographic methods and the optimal timetable for follow-up imaging of patients after endovascular treatment of intracranial aneurysms.

Material and methods

A comprehensive computer-aided search for relevant primary papers was performed using the MEDLINE, PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Collaboration database from January 1991 to March 2011. Original papers were included that reported either diagnostic value of angiographic modalities for follow-up vs. digital subtracted angiography (DSA) or comparison of aneurysm occlusion rate in delayed vs. early follow-up.


The systematic review identified 35 relevant studies: 3 on the diagnostic value of three-dimensional (3D) DSA, 30 on the performance of magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), and 3 on time schedules for follow-up. 3D DSA had sensitivity of 100%, and specificity of 58.3-94.7%. Magnetic resonance angiography had sensitivity of 28.4-100%, and specificity of 50.0-100%. The proportion of aneurysms that recanalized between the early follow-up examination at 6 months and the delayed imaging at 1.5-6.0 years was 0-2.5%.


Magnetic resonance angiography seems to be the best imaging method for the follow-up. In selected cases, when invasive angiography is necessary, 3D DSA should be considered to improve the diagnostic accuracy. Most patients who present with stable and adequate aneurysm occlusion at 6 months after coiling may not require further follow-up.

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Neurologia i Neurochirurgia Polska