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Improved rates of postoperative ischemia, completeness of aneurysm occlusion and neurological deficits in elective clipping of anterior circulation aneurysms over the past 20 years - association with technical improvements.

BACKGROUND/PURPOSE: Several periprocedural adjuncts for elective surgical aneurysm treatment have been introduced over the last 20 years to increase safety and efficacy. Besides the introduction of IONM in the late-1990s, ICG-videoangiography (ICG-VAG) since the mid-2000s and intraoperative CT-angiography/-perfusion (iCT-A/-P) since the mid-2010s are available. We aimed to clarify whether the introduction of ICG-VAG and iCT-A/-P resulted in our department in a stepwise improvement in the rate of radiologically detected postoperative ischemia, complete aneurysm occlusion and postoperative new deficits.

METHODS: Patients undergoing microsurgical clip occlusion for unruptured anterior circulation aneurysms between 2000 and 2019 were included, with ICG-VAG since 2009 and iCT-A/-P (for selected cases) since 2016. Baseline characteristics and treatment-related morbidity/outcome focusing on differences between the three distinct cohorts (cohort-I: pre-ICG-VAG-era, cohort-II: ICG-VAG-era, cohort-III: ICG-VAG&iCT-A/-P-era) were analyzed.

RESULTS: 1391 patients were enrolled (n = 74 were excluded), 779 patients were interventionally treated, 538 patients were surgically clipped by a specialized vascular team (cohort-I n = 167, cohort-II n = 284, cohort-III n = 87). Aneurysm size was larger in cohort-I (8.9 vs. 7.5/6.8 mm; p < 0.01) without differences concerning age (mean:55years), gender distribution (m: f = 1:2.6) and aneurysm location (MCA:61%, ICA:18%, ACA/AcomA:21%). There was a stepwise improvement in the rate of radiologically detected postoperative ischemia (16.2vs.12.0vs.8.0%; p = 0.161), complete aneurysm occlusion (68.3vs.83.6vs.91.0%; p < 0.01) and postoperative new deficits (10.8vs.7.7vs.5.7%; p = 0.335) from cohort-I to -III. After a mean follow-up of 12months, a median modified Rankin scale of 0 was achieved in all cohorts.

DISCUSSION: Associated with periprocedural technical achievements, surgical outcome in elective anterior circulation aneurysm surgery has improved in our service during the past 20 years.

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