Long term visual and neurological prognosis in patients with treated and untreated cavernous sinus aneurysms

N. Goldenberg-Cohen, C. Curry, N. R. Miller, R. J. Tamargo, K. P.J. Murphy

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51 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the long term visual and neurological outcome of patients diagnosed with cavernous sinus aneurysms (CCAs). Methods: Prospective follow up for at least five years or until death of 31 retrospectively recruited patients (27 women, 4 men) with treated and untreated CCAs. Results: There were 40 aneurysms in all. Mean age at diagnosis was 60.4 years (range 25 to 86; median 64). The most common symptoms were diplopia (61%), headache (53%), and facial or orbital pain (32%). Fifteen patients (48%) were diagnosed after they developed cranial nerve pareses, four (13%) after they developed carotid-cavernous sinus fistulas (CCFs), and 12 (39%) by neuroimaging studies done for unrelated symptoms. Twenty one patients (68%) had treatment to exclude the aneurysm from circulation, 10 shortly after diagnosis and 11 after worsening symptoms. Immediate complications of treatment occurred in six patients and included neurological impairment, acute ophthalmoparesis, and visual loss. Ten patients (32%) were observed without intervention. Over a mean (SD) follow up period of 11.8 (7.7) years, eight had improvement in symptoms, five remained stable, and eight deteriorated. Among the 10 patients followed without intervention, none improved spontaneously, three remained stable, and seven worsened. Conclusions: Most treated patients in this series improved or remained stable after treatment, but none improved without treatment. The long term prognosis for treated cases is relatively good, with most complications occurring immediately after the procedure. Endovascular surgery has decreased the morbidity and mortality of treatment so should be considered for any patient with a CCA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)863-867
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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