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Original research
Confidence of treatment decision and perceived risk of procedure-related neurological complications in the management of unruptured intracranial aneurysms


Background and purpose To evaluate factors influencing the confidence of management recommendation for unruptured intracranial aneurysms (UIAs) and to assess the ability of neurointerventionalists to predict procedure-related neurological complications compared with a 3-point risk score.

Materials and methods Twenty-eight neurointerventionalists were asked to evaluate digital subtraction angiographies examinations of patients with UIAs by determining the best management approach, their level of confidence in their management recommendation, and estimating the risk of procedure-related neurological complications. Knowledge and experience in interventional neuroradiology (INR) of each participant were assessed.

Results Reliability was moderate regarding any treatment recommendation (ICC=0.49) and low regarding the estimation of risk of complications (ICC=0.38). The recommendation of clipping was less likely with more experience in INR (OR=0.6) and more likely with increasing knowledge (OR=1.7). Odds of recommending WEB device were lower with more experience in INR (OR=0.6), higher in patients with multiple aneurysms (OR=3.6) and increasing neck width (OR=2.7). The recommendation of stent-assisted coiling was more likely with increasing neck width (OR=2.4) and when cerebral ischemic comorbidities were present (OR=2.9). The participants were significantly worse than the risk score (mean area under the curve of 0.53) and not better than random guess in predicting complications. Neither knowledge nor experience in INR was significantly associated with the participants’ ability to predict neurological complications.

Conclusions Our study shows a moderate interrater reliability of treatment recommendations of UIAs. Confidence in treatment recommendation varied significantly according to recommended treatments. Overall performance in predicting neurological complications was worse than the risk score and not better than random guess.

  • aneurysm
  • flow diverter
  • coil
  • intervention

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