The natural history of radiographically defined vertebrobasilar nonsaccular intracranial aneurysms

Kelly Flemming, David O. Wiebers, Robert D Jr. Brown, Michael J. Link, John Huston, Robyn L. McClelland, Teresa J H Christianson

73 Scopus citations


Background: Vertebrobasilar nonsaccular intracranial aneurysms (VBNIA) are characterized by dilatation, elongation, and tortuosity of the vertebrobasilar system. Methods: The medical records and imaging of patients with vertebrobasilar fusiform aneurysms or dolichoectasia between 1989 and 2001 were reviewed. Prospective follow-up was obtained. Results: One hundred and fifty-nine patients were identified (74% male) with 719 patient years of follow-up. Presenting events included: hemorrhage (3%), ischemia (28%), and compression (22%). The remainder were incidental. The 1-, 5-, and 10-year risk of cerebral infarction (CI) due to VBNIA is 2.7, 11.3, and 15.9% respectively. The risk of recurrent CI is 6.7% per patient year. Median survival was 7.8 years and death was most commonly due to ischemia. Conclusions: VB-NIA are more common in men and typically present in the 6-7th decade. Recurrent CI is more common than hemorrhage risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)270-279
Number of pages10
JournalCerebrovascular Diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 2005



  • Aneurysm
  • Basilar
  • Dolichoectasia
  • Fusiform
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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