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Original research
Aneurysms of the communicating segment of the internal carotid artery with posterior communicating artery agenesis are associated with perforator infarction after embolization


Background While anatomic features associated with the risk of posterior communicating artery (PcoA) occlusion after embolization of aneurysms of the PcoA segment of the internal carotid artery (ICA) are well known, the link between perforator origin and perforator infarction has only been reported following neurosurgical clipping. The aim of this study was to determine the origin of anterior thalamic perforators and correlate it with risk of perforator infarction after embolization of PcoA segment aneurysms.

Methods One-hundred-and-ninety consecutive patients treated for PcoA segment aneurysms between 2017 and 2019 were included. PcoA and anterior thalamic perforator origin anatomy was assessed with computed tomography (CT) angiography, digital subtracted angiography, and high-resolution three-dimensional rotational cone-beam CT angiography (CBCT-A) by two independent interventional neuroradiologists. The presence of perforator infarction after embolization was ascertained from the patient’s notes and follow-up imaging.

Results CBCT-A was superior in demonstrating the origin of perforators (P<0.001). The prevalence of perforator origin was estimated at 86% (95% CI 81%–92%) for PcoA, 8% (95% CI 4%–13%) for aneurysm wall, and 5% (95% CI 2%–9%) for ICA. The aneurysm wall origin was exclusively associated with PcoA agenesis, as well as higher risk of perforator infarction after aneurysm coiling compared with other variants (OR=14, 95% CI 2–88, P=0.006).

Conclusions Our study suggests that anterior thalamic perforators may arise from aneurysm wall when there is no PcoA. Anatomic association between PcoA agenesis and perforator arising from ICA could underlie such findings, and careful consideration is essential before aneurysm repair to anticipate the risk of thalamic infarction in such cases.

  • aneurysm
  • embolic
  • angiography
  • complication

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