In this paper, the authors’ goals were to clarify the characteristics of growing unruptured cerebral aneurysms detected by serial MR angiography and to establish the recommended follow-up interval.
A total of 1002 patients with 1325 unruptured cerebral aneurysms were retrospectively identified. These patients had undergone follow-up evaluation at least twice. Aneurysm growth was defined as an increase in maximum aneurysm diameter by 1.5 times or the appearance of a bleb.
Aneurysm growth was observed in 18 patients during the period of this study (1.8%/person-year). The annual rupture risk after growth was 18.5%/person-year. The proportion of females among patients with growing aneurysms was significantly larger than those without growing aneurysms (p = 0.0281). The aneurysm wall was reddish, thin, and fragile on intraoperative findings. Frequent follow-up examination is recommended to detect aneurysm growth before rupture.
Despite the relatively short period, the annual rupture risk of growing unruptured cerebral aneurysms detected by MR angiography was not as low as previously reported. Surgical or endovascular treatment can be considered if aneurysm growth is detected during the follow-up period.
Source: Journal of neurosurgery.
cerebral aneurysm, magnetic resonance angiography, rupture, vascular disorders
Cost-effectiveness of carotid artery stent placement versus endarterectomy in patients with carotid artery stenosis
The Carotid Revascularization Endarterectomy versus Stenting Trial (CREST) demonstrated that the risk of the primary composite outcome of stroke, myocardial infarction (MI), or death did not differ significantly in patients with an average surgical risk undergoing carotid artery stenting (CAS) and those undergoing carotid endarterectomy (CEA). However, the cost associated with CAS may limit its broad applicability. The authors’ goal in this paper was to determine the cost-effectiveness of CAS with an embolic-protection device versus CEA in patients with moderate to severe carotid artery stenosis who are at average surgical risk.
The probability of the primary outcome was obtained from the results of the CREST trial. The quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) associated with each treatment modality were estimated by adjusting for the incidence of each quality-adjusted outcome (QALY weights of ipsilateral stroke, MI, death, and postprocedure QALYs). The total cost associated with each intervention was derived from hospitalization cost and cost associated with primary outcomes including stroke, MI, and death in each group. Costs are expressed in US dollars accounting for inflation up to October 2010. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) were estimated for the 4-year period after the procedure. All values are expressed as means and 95% confidence intervals.
The estimated net costs for patients after treatment with CAS and CEA after consideration of the primary outcome were $18,335 and $13,276, respectively, from the definitive presimulation analysis. Postsimulation values were $19,210 (range $18,264–$20,156) and $14,080 (range $13,076–$15,084), respectively. Overall, QALYs for the CAS and CEA groups were 0.712 and 0.702, respectively (ranging from 0.0 [death] to 0.815 [no adverse events]). The estimated ICER for CAS versus CEA treatment was $229,429.
Although the CREST demonstrated equivalent results with CAS (compared with CEA) in patients at average surgical risk with severe carotid artery stenosis, broad applicability of CAS might be limited by the higher cost associated with this procedure.
Source: Journal of neurosurgery.