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      Vasospasm and delayed cerebral ischemia after uneventful clipping of an unruptured intracranial aneurysm – a case report

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          Due to improvements in both the quality and availability of intracranial imaging as well as the evolution of surgical and endovascular techniques during the last decade, the number of treatments of unruptured intracranial aneurysms (UIA) has increased steadily. However, it is not generally known that vasospasm can arise after an uneventful clipping.

          Case presentation

          We present a case of a 69-year-old woman who suffered from vasospasm and delayed cerebral ischemia that occurred after an uneventful clipping of a UIA.

          The aneurysm of the right middle cerebral artery was found incidentally via magnetic resonance imaging ordered after the patient complained of a short period of slight gait disturbances. To avoid a subarachnoid hemorrhage and consecutive complications like vasospasms, the patient elected microsurgical treatment. Clipping was managed by keyhole approach. Temporal clipping of the M1 was not necessary. After clip placement, appropriate flow in all distal segments was confirmed by indocyanine green video-angiography and micro-Doppler. The patient was discharged seven days after surgery without neurological deficits.

          After 12 days, the patient developed at home a sudden drooping on the left side of the face. Upon admission to the emergency room, the patient was alert but slightly confused. Neurological examination revealed a left-sided hemiparesis and motor speech disorder. In contrast to the preoperative transfemoral catheter angiography, the subsequent right internal carotid angiogram showed clear signs of vasospasm along the M1 and M2 segments of the right middle cerebral artery.

          Antithrombotic treatment with acetylsalicylic acid was begun. In accordance with guidelines for the treatment of subarachnoid hemorrhage and vasospasm, nimodipine was added. After 11 days the patient was discharged with no symptoms.


          Cerebral vasospasm as a cause of ischemic stroke after uneventful surgery for a UIA seems to be a rare but possibly underestimated etiology that demands particular attention with respect to providing appropriate treatment. In future, it may be prudent to perform follow-up transcranial ultrasonography testing after the clipping of a UIA, especially considering the availability of potentially neuroprotective medications like nimodipine.

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          Most cited references 13

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          Guidelines for the management of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage: a guideline for healthcare professionals from the American Heart Association/american Stroke Association.

           ,  A Rabinstein,  Brian L. Hoh (2012)
          The aim of this guideline is to present current and comprehensive recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH). A formal literature search of MEDLINE (November 1, 2006, through May 1, 2010) was performed. Data were synthesized with the use of evidence tables. Writing group members met by teleconference to discuss data-derived recommendations. The American Heart Association Stroke Council's Levels of Evidence grading algorithm was used to grade each recommendation. The guideline draft was reviewed by 7 expert peer reviewers and by the members of the Stroke Council Leadership and Manuscript Oversight Committees. It is intended that this guideline be fully updated every 3 years. Evidence-based guidelines are presented for the care of patients presenting with aSAH. The focus of the guideline was subdivided into incidence, risk factors, prevention, natural history and outcome, diagnosis, prevention of rebleeding, surgical and endovascular repair of ruptured aneurysms, systems of care, anesthetic management during repair, management of vasospasm and delayed cerebral ischemia, management of hydrocephalus, management of seizures, and management of medical complications. aSAH is a serious medical condition in which outcome can be dramatically impacted by early, aggressive, expert care. The guidelines offer a framework for goal-directed treatment of the patient with aSAH.
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            Guidelines for the Management of Patients With Unruptured Intracranial Aneurysms: A Guideline for Healthcare Professionals From the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

            The aim of this updated statement is to provide comprehensive and evidence-based recommendations for management of patients with unruptured intracranial aneurysms.
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              Unruptured intracranial aneurysms: epidemiology, natural history, management options, and familial screening.

              Intracranial saccular or berry aneurysms are common, occurring in about 1-2% of the population. Unruptured intracranial aneurysms are increasingly being detected as cross-sectional imaging techniques are used more frequently in clinical practice. Once an unruptured intracranial aneurysm is detected, decisions regarding optimum management are made on the basis of careful comparison of the short-term and long-term risks of aneurysmal rupture with the risk associated with the intervention, whether that be surgical clipping or endovascular management. Several factors need to be carefully considered, including aneurysm size and location, the patient's family history and medical history, and the availability of an interventional option that has an acceptable risk. The patient's knowledge that they have an unruptured intracranial aneurysm can lead to substantial stress and anxiety, and their perspective regarding treatment, after hearing an unbiased appraisal of the rupture risks and the risk of interventional treatment, is of the utmost importance. Controversy remains regarding optimum management, and thorough assessments of the risks and benefits of contemporary management options, specific to aneurysm size, location, and many other aneurysm and patient factors, are needed.

                Author and article information

                BMC Neurol
                BMC Neurol
                BMC Neurology
                BioMed Central (London )
                16 September 2019
                16 September 2019
                : 19
                [1 ]ISNI 0000 0001 1018 4307, GRID grid.5807.a, Department of Neurology, Medical Faculty, , Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, ; Leipziger Str. 44, 39120 Magdeburg, Germany
                [2 ]ISNI 0000 0001 1018 4307, GRID grid.5807.a, Department of Neurosurgery, Medical Faculty, , Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, ; Leipziger Str. 44, 39120 Magdeburg, Germany
                © The Author(s). 2019

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                Case Report
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                unruptured intracranial aneurysm, vasospasm, delayed cerebral ischemia


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