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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 2-11

Posterior inferior cerebellar artery aneurysms: Anatomical variations and surgical strategies


Department of Neurosurgery, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Sanjay Behari
Department of Neurosurgery, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Rae Bareli Road, Lucknow - 226 014, Uttar Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1793-5482.95687

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Context: Posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA) aneurysms are associated with multiple anatomical variations of the parent vessel. Complexities in their surgical clipping relate to narrow corridors limited by brain-stem, petrous-occipital bones, and multiple neurovascular structures occupying the cerebellomedullary and cerebellopontine cisterns. Aims: The present study focuses on surgical considerations during clipping of saccular PICA aneurysms. Setting and Design: Tertiary care, retrospective study. Materials and Methods: In 20 patients with PICA aneurysms, CT angiogram/digital substraction angiogram was used to correlate the site and anatomical variations of aneurysms located on different segments of PICA with the approach selected, the difficulties encountered and the final outcome. Statistical Analysis: Comparison of means and percentages. Results: Aneurysms were located on PICA at: vertebral artery/basilar artery (VA/BA)-PICA (n=5); anterior medullary (n=4); lateral medullary (n=3); tonsillomedullary (n=4); and, telovelotonsillar (n=4) segments. The Hunt and Hess grade distribution was I in 15; II in 2; and, III in 3 patients (mean ictus-surgery interval: 23.5 days; range: 3-150 days). Eight patients had hydrocephalus. Anatomical variations included giant, thrombosed aneurysms; 2 PICA aneurysms proximal to an arteriovenous malformation; bilobed or multiple aneurysms; low PICA situated at the foramen magnum with a hypoplastic VA; and fenestrated PICA. The approaches included a retromastoid suboccipital craniectomy (n=9); midline suboccipital craniectomy (n=6); and far-lateral approach (n=5). At a follow-up (range 6 months-2.5 years), 13 patients had no deficits (modified Rankin score (mRS) 0); 2 were symptomatic with no significant disability (mRS1); 1 had mild disability (mRS2); 1 had moderately severe disability (mRS4); and 3 died (mRS6). Three mortalities were caused by vasospasm (2) and, rupture of unclipped second VA-BA junctional aneurysm (1). Conclusions: PICA aneurysms may present with only IV th ventricular blood without subarachnoid hemorrhage. PICA may have multiple anomalies and its aneurysms may be missed on CT angiograms. Surgical approach is influenced by VA-BA tortuosity and variations in anatomy, location of the VA-BA junction and the PICA aneurysm relative to the brain-stem, and the pattern of collateral supply. The special category of VA-PICA junctional aneurysms and its management; and, the multiple anatomical variations of PICA aneurysms, merit special surgical considerations and have been highlighted in this study.


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