(HealthDay)—For patients with unruptured intracranial aneurysms (UIAs) that are 3 mm or smaller, no preventive treatment or imaging follow-up is the most effective management strategy, according to a study published online Nov. 20 in JAMA Neurology.
Ajay Malhotra, M.D., from the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., and colleagues used inputs from the medical literature to conduct a decision-analytic model-based comparative effectiveness analysis. Five management strategies were assessed: annual magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) screening, biennial MRA screening, MRA screening every five years, aneurysm coiling and follow-up, and no treatment or preventive follow-up.
In an analysis of 10,000 iterations simulating adult patients, the researchers found that the highest health benefit was seen for the management strategy of no treatment or preventive follow-up (mean quality-adjusted life-years, 19.40). MRA every five years was the best of the management strategies that incorporate follow-up imaging, with the next highest effectiveness (mean quality-adjusted life-years, 18.05). When the annual growth rate and risk of rupture of growing aneurysms are varied, no routine follow-up remains the optimal strategy. No follow-up is the optimal strategy when the annual risk of rupture of nongrowing UIAs is less than 1.7 percent; coiling should be performed directly if the annual risk of rupture is >1.7 percent.
"Given these findings, it is important to critically evaluate the appropriateness of current clinical practices," the authors write.
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