Natural history and growth rate of intracranial aneurysms in Loeys-Dietz syndrome: implications for treatment

Anna L. Huguenard, Gabrielle W. Johnson, Joshua W. Osbun, Ralph G. Dacey, Alan C. Braverman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE Loeys-Dietz syndrome (LDS) is a heritable aortopathy associated with craniofacial abnormalities and dilatation and dissection of the aorta and its branches, as well as increased risk for intracranial aneurysms (ICAs). Given the rarity of the disease, the authors aimed to better define the natural history and role for the treatment for ICAs in these patients. METHODS The medical records of 83 patients with LDS were retrospectively reviewed to obtain clinical and genetic history and vascular imaging of the aorta, aortic branches, and intracranial vessels. Serial radiology reports and cervical and intracranial vascular images were reviewed to determine presence, location, and size of ICAs. RESULTS In total, 55 patients (66.3%) had at least two screening intracranial vascular examinations, and 19 (22.9%) had at least 1 ICA detected. Aneurysms were typically small (mean ± SD 3.2 ± 1.8 mm). ICAs were most often located in the cavernous carotid, followed by the ophthalmic and anterior cerebral artery vessels. The rate of ICA growth was 0.43 ± 0.53 mm/year, similar to that of the general population. Three patients underwent intervention for an ICA, with 1 procedure complicated by stroke and resulting in transient hemiparesis. Several illustrative cases detail the authors’ experience with ICA growth, de novo aneurysm formation, and ICA intervention in this rare patient population. CONCLUSIONS ICAs in patients with LDS are common, are frequently small, and have a growth rate similar to that of unruptured ICAs in the general population. More aggressive or earlier intervention for asymptomatic ICAs identified in LDS patients compared with the general population is likely unwarranted based on the authors’ experience at their institution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1381-1388
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2024


  • Loeys-Dietz syndrome
  • endovascular
  • endovascular neurosurgery
  • growth rate
  • intracranial aneurysm
  • serial screening
  • subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • vascular disorders


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