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Management of basilar fenestration aneurysms: a systematic review with an illustrative case report


Background Basilar artery (BA) fenestration aneurysm (BAFA) is a rare phenomenon commonly accompanying other aneurysms. Treatment is challenging, and few cases have been reported. This review investigated the management outcomes of BAFAs.

Methods Publication databases were searched to identify studies evaluating outcomes of endovascular treatment (EVT) and microsurgical treatment of BAFAs from inception through 2021. Outcomes (clinical, angiographic, postoperative complications, and retreatment rates) were collected and analyzed. The authors present their case of a patient treated for a BAFA.

Results Including the authors’ case, 184 patients with 209 BAFAs were reported in 68 studies. Most patients (130/175; 74.3%) presented with ruptured aneurysms, most commonly involving the proximal segment of the BA. Most BAFAs were small (52/103, 50.5%) and saccular (119/143, 83.2%). Most patients underwent EVT (143/184, 77.7%); the rest underwent microsurgery. Postoperative complications after EVT occurred in 10 (8.3%) of 120 patients, with 4 of the 10 experiencing strokes. At clinical follow-up, most EVT patients (74/86, 86.0%) showed good outcomes; 3.9% (2/51) had died. Most aneurysms managed with EVT (56/73, 76.7%) showed complete occlusion at follow-up; 7.3% (8/109) were retreated. Postoperative complications occurred in 62.2% (23/37) of microsurgical patients; 5 (21.7%) of the 23 experienced strokes. All patients showed good clinical outcomes at follow-up. Most aneurysms (22/28, 78.6%) treated microsurgically showed complete occlusion at angiographic follow-up, with no retreatment required.

Conclusion BAFAs are often symptomatic; thus, treatment is challenging. By the 2000s, treatment had moved from microsurgical to endovascular modalities, with good clinical and angiographic outcomes.

  • Aneurysm
  • Flow Diverter
  • Intervention

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