The management of unruptured intracranial aneurysms has changed significantly in recent years and continues to evolve. The three main factors that have affected the management of unruptured intracranial aneurysms are as follows: 1) increased availability of noninvasive imaging technology, resulting in increased detection of incidental aneurysms; 2) improved understanding of the natural history of unruptured aneurysms; and 3) the advent of neuroendovascular therapy. In this report, the authors discuss the implications of these factors in the diagnosis and management of truly incidental, asymptomatic aneurysms and review the current practice patterns at their institution. Historical and current articles regarding noninvasive neuroimaging, aneurysm screening, endovascular and surgical therapy, and the natural history of unruptured aneurysms were reviewed. Current practices used for diagnosis and management of incidental aneurysms at the authors' institution were also reviewed. The management of incidental intracranial aneurysms has become an increasingly controversial subject in recent years. Improvements in noninvasive imaging resulting in detection of an increasing number of incidental aneurysms, the establishment of endovascular therapy as an attractive alternative to surgery, and studies indicating a more benign natural history for unruptured aneurysms than previously thought have led to significant changes in neurosurgical practice. Safety and long-term efficacy are the goals of treatment for unruptured aneurysms. Until conclusive studies are completed, the experience of the neurovascular team at each institution and the art of patient selection for treatment will continue to play a fundamental role in the management of these lesions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology