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Original research
Intracranial aneurysms in sickle cell anemia: clinical and imaging findings
  1. S Ali Nabavizadeh1,2,
  2. Arastoo Vossough1,2,
  3. Rebecca N Ichord3,
  4. Janet Kwiatkowski4,
  5. Bryan A Pukenas1,
  6. Michelle J Smith5,
  7. Philip B Storm6,
  8. Eric L Zager5,
  9. Robert W Hurst1,2
  1. 1Department of Radiology, Hospital of University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  2. 2Department of Radiology, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  3. 3Department of Neurology & Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  4. 4Department of Hematology, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  5. 5Department of Neurosurgery, Hospital of University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  6. 6Division of Neurosurgery, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Robert W Hurst, Department of Radiology, Hospital of University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania, 19104, PA USA; robert.hurst{at}uphs.upenn.edu

Abstract

Background Cerebral aneurysm formation is one of the cerebrovascular complications of sickle cell disease.

Objective To report the clinical and imaging findings of intracerebral aneurysms and their treatment in pediatric and adult patients with sickle cell disease.

Methods Review of clinical data via chart abstraction and radiologic features at the University of Pennsylvania and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia from 2000 to 2014 and review of the literature since 1942.

Results Nineteen patients with aneurysms (2.7%) were found in 709 imaged patients, including 1.2% of imaged children and 10.8% of adults. A total of 44 aneurysms were detected (52.6% with multiple aneurysms, overall 2.3 per patient), 35 (79.5%) in the anterior circulation and 9 in the posterior circulation (20.4%). Thirty-eight unruptured aneurysms ranging in size from 2 to 6 mm and six ruptured aneurysms ranging in size from 3 to 9 mm in diameter were found. Of the patients with ruptured aneurysms, two were treated by stent-assisted coiling, two by clipping, and one patient with coiling. In the group without a rupture, one patient was treated by coil embolization and one patient with a peripheral middle cerebral artery aneurysm was treated by aneurysmectomy. Three pediatric patients with a previously normal MR angiogram demonstrated new aneurysm formation during the study.

Conclusions Adult patients with sickle cell disease have a high prevalence of aneurysm formation. Both pediatric and adult patients with sickle cell disease tend to develop multiple aneurysms with frequent involvement of atypical locations, in both anterior and posterior circulations.

  • Aneurysm
  • Angiography
  • CT Angiography
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography

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