Factors Determining Surgical Approaches to Basilar Bifurcation Aneurysms and Its Surgical Outcomes

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The basilar bifurcation aneurysm (BBA) is still considered to be one of the most challenging aneurysms for micro- and endovascular surgery. Classic surgical approaches, such as subtemporal, lateral supraorbital (LSO), and modified presigmoid, are still reliable and effective.


To analyze the clinical and radiological factors that affect the selection of these classic surgical approaches and their outcomes.


A retrospective analysis was conducted on the clinical and radiological data from computed tomographic angiography of BBA that have been clipped in the Department of Neurosurgery of Helsinki University Central Hospital between 2004 and 2014. Statistical analyses were performed using parametric and nonparametric tests where values were considered significant below P = .05.


One hundred four patients with BBA underwent surgical clipping in our department between 2004 and 2014. Eight patients were excluded from the study because of incomplete preoperative radiological evaluations, leaving 96 patients for further analysis. Multiple aneurysm clipping, mean basilar bifurcation angle, and aneurysm neck distance from posterior clinoid process were shown to be factors that determine the surgical approach. Unfavorable outcome is strongly associated with poor Hunt-Hess grade on admission, distance from aneurysm neck (the posterior clinoid process), thrombosis, and dome size.


Microsurgery for BBA clipping can be performed safely with simple surgical approaches: subtemporal and LSO. There are several factors determining the approach selected. Poor patient outcome in BBA was highly associated with poor preoperative clinical grade and large size of aneurysm dome.


BBA, Basilar bifurcation aneurysms


BRAT, Barrow Rupture Aneurysm Trial


CTA, computed tomography angiography


GOS, Glasgow Outcome scale


HH, Hunt-Hess scale


ISAT, International Subarachnoid Aneurysm Trial


ISUIA, International Study of Unruptured Intracranial Aneurysms


LSO, lateral supraorbital


PCP, posterior clinoid process

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