Article Text

Original research
Flow diversion for compressive unruptured internal carotid artery aneurysms with neuro-ophthalmological symptoms: a systematic review and meta-analysis


Background Data on the safety and efficacy of flow diverters (FD) for the treatment of unruptured internal carotid artery (ICA) aneurysms with compressive neuro-ophthalmological symptoms (NOS) are scarce and comprise mainly small case series.

Methods We performed a search of three databases and included series with ≥10 patients, with unruptured aneurysms of the ICA and NOS, treated with FD. Random-effects analysis of treatment results and safety was performed.

Results A total of 22 studies reporting on 594 patients were included. Pooled proportions of NOS recovery, improvement, transient and permanent worsening were: 47.4% (95% CI 35.0% to 60.1%); 74.5% (95% CI 67.9% to 80.2%); 7.1% (95% CI 3.3% to 14.7%); and 4.9% (95% CI 3.2% to 7.4%), respectively. Rates of complete recovery and improvement in patients with isolated visual symptoms were 30.6% (95% CI 12.5% to 57.7%) and 56.6% (95% CI 42.3% to 69.9%). Isolated oculomotor symptoms recovered completely in 47.8% (95% CI 29.9% to 66.3%) and improved in 78% (95% CI 69.2% to 84.9%). Morbidity occurred in 5% (95% CI 2.8% to 9%) and mortality in 3.9% (95% CI 2% to 7.5%) of patients. An increased likelihood of symptom improvement was observed when treatment was performed early (<1 month) after symptom onset (OR=11.22, 95% CI 3.9% to 32.5%).

Conclusion Flow diversion promotes recovery or improvement of compressive symptoms in a large proportion of patients but is associated with significant rates of morbidity and mortality. Transient and permanent NOS worsening is not uncommon. Early treatment is of utmost importance, as it increases the likelihood of symptom improvement more than 10-fold.

  • Complication
  • Aneurysm
  • Flow Diverter
  • Stent

Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

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