Ruptured PICA aneurysms: presentation and treatment outcomes compared to other posterior circulation aneurysms. A Swiss SOS study.

Starnoni, Daniele; Maduri, Rodolfo; Al Taha, Khalid; Bervini, David; Zumofen, Daniel Walter; Stienen, Martin Nikolaus; Schatlo, Bawarjan; Fung, Christian; Robert, Thomas; Seule, Martin A; Burkhardt, Jan-Karl; Maldaner, Nicolai; Rothlisberger, Michel; Blackham, Kristine A; Marbacher, Serge; D'Alonzo, Donato; Remonda, Luca; Machi, Paolo; Gralla, Jan; Bijlenga, Philippe; ... (2019). Ruptured PICA aneurysms: presentation and treatment outcomes compared to other posterior circulation aneurysms. A Swiss SOS study. Acta neurochirurgica, 161(7), pp. 1325-1334. Springer Vienna 10.1007/s00701-019-03894-5

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Aneurysms of the posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA) are relatively uncommon and evidence is sparse about patients presenting with ruptured PICA aneurysms. We performed an analysis of the Swiss SOS national registry to describe clinical presentation, treatment pattern, and neurological outcome of patients with ruptured PICA aneurysms compared with other ruptured posterior circulation (PC) aneurysms.


This was a retrospective analysis of anonymized data from the Swiss SOS registry (Swiss Study on Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage; 2009-2014). Patients with ruptured PC aneurysms were subdivided into a PICA and non-PICA group. Clinical, radiological, and treatment-related variables were identified, and their impact on the neurological outcome was determined in terms of modified Rankin score at discharge and at 1 year of follow-up for the two groups.


Data from 1864 aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage patients were reviewed. There were 264 patients with a ruptured PC aneurysm. Seventy-four PICA aneurysms represented 28% of the series; clinical and radiological characteristics at admission were comparable between the PICA and non-PICA group. Surgical treatment was accomplished in 28% of patients in the PICA group and in the 4.8% of patients in the non-PICA group. No statistically significant difference was found between the two groups in terms of complications after treatment. Hydrocephalus requiring definitive shunt was needed in 21.6% of PICA patients (p = 0.6); cranial nerve deficit was present in average a quarter of the patients in both PICA and non-PICA group with no statistical difference (p = 0.3). A more favorable outcome (66.2%) was reported in the PICA group at discharge (p < 0.05) but this difference faded over time with a similar neurological outcome at 1-year follow-up (p = 0.09) between both PICA and non-PICA group. The Kaplan-Meyer estimation showed no significant difference in the mortality rate between both groups (p = 0.08).


In the present study, patients with ruptured PICA aneurysms had a favorable neurological outcome in more than two thirds of cases, similar to patients with other ruptured PC aneurysms. Surgical treatment remains a valid option in a third of cases with ruptured PICA aneurysms.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Radiology, Neuroradiology and Nuclear Medicine (DRNN) > Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Neuroradiology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurosurgery

UniBE Contributor:

Bervini, David; Remonda, Luca and Gralla, Jan


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Springer Vienna




Martin Zbinden

Date Deposited:

22 Jul 2019 10:41

Last Modified:

04 Nov 2019 08:34

Publisher DOI:


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Uncontrolled Keywords:

Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage Endovascular procedures Hydrocephalus Intracranial aneurysms Intracranial vasospasm Posterior circulation Posterior inferior cerebellar artery




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