Retrospective review of cerebral mycotic aneurysms in 26 patients: Focus on treatment in strongly immunocompromised patients with a brief literature review

L. M. Allen, A. M. Fowler, C. Walker, C. P. Derdeyn, B. V. Nguyen, A. N. Hasso, B. V. Ghodke, G. J. Zipfel, D. T. Cross, C. J. Moran

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Cerebral mycotic aneurysms are a rare and deadly type of aneurysm that have no definitive treatment guidelines. Our purpose was to retrospectively review known or suspected cases of CMA in order to identify patient populations that may be associated with higher morbidity and mortality. We hope that the identification of patients with these risk factors will lead to early stratification upon presentation, and more urgent treatment of their CMAs. We also hoped to identify any benefit or complication that was specific to either the endovascular or neurosurgical repair of CMAs. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective multi-institutional study was performed examining cases of CMA during a 15-year period. Patients were considered strongly immunocompromised if there were long-term severely immunocompromised states: AIDS, chemotherapy, or steroid immunosuppression. Patients were excluded if angiographic findings suggested an alternative diagnosis or if an infectious etiology was unknown. Antibiotics were considered 'noninvasive treatment.' Endovascular and neurosurgical repair were considered 'invasive treatment.' Data were recorded by reviewing electronic medical records and imaging reports. RESULTS: Twenty-six patients with 40 CMAs were included. Three patients were considered strongly immunocompromised and presented with 4 CMAs, which demonstrated larger average size and more rapid growth; 3 of these patients' aneurysms were treated invasively in the acute period, with the one that was not ruptured causing death. Technical success (aneurysm occlusion without rupture or recanalization) and clinical success (no neurologic complication attributable to the intervention) were obtained equally endovascularly and neurosurgically. Clipping was aborted in favor of coiling for 1 patient. Anticoagulation needed reversal before 2 patients underwent craniotomy for clipping after valve replacement. For CMAs treated with antibiotics alone with angiographic follow-up (n = 11), initial aneurysm size was unrelated to persistence and 64% completely regressed. CONCLUSIONS: We recommend initial invasive treatment for CMAs in strongly immunocompromised patients. Testing for underlying immunocompromised states is warranted in patients with CMAs. Endovascular treatment is favored over neurosurgical treatment in patients requiring acute cardiac valve repair due to delays with anticoagulation reversal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)823-827
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2013


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