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Original research
Locations, associations and temporal evolution of intracranial arterial infundibular dilatations in children


Background There are few data in the literature on the characteristics and natural history of intracranial arterial infundibular dilatations in children.

Methods An institutional review board-approved retrospective review was performed of infundibula reported on MR angiography in patients <18 years of age at our tertiary pediatric institute from 1998 to 2016. Clinical data (age, sex, diagnosis, other vascular variants/pathologies) were recorded and images assessed for vessel of origin, infundibulum size and exact location. Ratios of infundibulum:parent artery were assessed at diagnosis and last follow-up. Temporal evolution to aneurysm was evaluated.

Results We found 60 intracranial infundibula in 60 children (male:female=27:33; mean age 9.7±5.2 years, range 2–18 years,). Family history of aneurysms was present in 2/60 (3.3%). Syndromic association was found in 14/60 (23.3%), most frequently sickle cell disease (4/14=28.6%). Mean infundibulum size was 2.2±0.5 mm, with mean ratio to parent artery of 0.54±0.17. The most common location was on the P1-posterior cerebral artery (34/63=56.7%), whereas posterior communicating infundibula were seen in only 4/60 (6.7%) cases. Other cerebrovascular variants were seen in 12/60 (20%) patients. On follow-up imaging (in 32/60 patients over 86 patient-years, mean 32.3±35.7 months), no significant change in infundibulum:parent artery ratio was noted. None of the infundibular dilatations showed interval evolution to aneurysm.

Conclusion We present the largest reported cohort of pediatric intracranial arterial infundibula, which we found to be distinct from their adult counterparts with regard to location, etiology and temporal evolution. Growth over time and/or aneurysmal formation are rare, not necessitating frequent short-term imaging surveillance during childhood.

  • aneurysm
  • magnetic resonance angiography
  • pediatrics
  • subarachnoid

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