Comparison of Blister Aneurysm Treatment Techniques: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Victoria E. Sanchez, Ali S. Haider, Scott E. Rowe, Waseem Wahood, Navraj S. Sagoo, Ahmad Ozair, Tarek Y. El Ahmadieh, Peter Kan, Jeremiah N. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: Blood blister aneurysms are small, thin-walled, rapidly growing side-wall aneurysms that have proved particularly difficult to treat, and evidence-based guidance for treatment strategies is lacking. A systematic review and meta-analysis was performed to aggregate the available data and compare the 3 primary treatment modalities. Methods: We performed a comprehensive literature search according to PRISMA guidelines followed by an indirect meta-analysis that compares the safety and efficacy of surgical, flow-diverting stents (FDS), and other endovascular approaches for the treatment of ruptured blood blister aneurysms. Results: A total of 102 studies were included for quantitative synthesis, with sample sizes of 687 treated surgically, 704 treated endovascularly without FDS, and 125 treated via flow diversion. Comparatively, FDS achieved significantly reduced rates of perioperative retreatment compared with both surgical (P = 0.025) and non-FDS endovascular (P < 0.001). The FDS subgroup also achieved a significantly lower incidence of perioperative rebleed (P < 0.001), perioperative hydrocephalus (P = 0.012), postoperative infarction (P = 0.002), postoperative hydrocephalus (P < 0.001), and postoperative vasospasm (P = 0.002) compared with those patients in the open surgical subgroup. Although no significant differences were found among groups on the basis of functional outcomes, angiographic outcomes detailed by rates of radiographic complete occlusion were highest for surgical (90.7%, 262/289) and FDS (89.1%, 98/110) subgroups versus the non-FDS endovascular subgroup (82.7%, 268/324). Conclusions: Flow diversion seems to be an effective treatment strategy for ruptured blood blister aneurysms, with lower rates of perioperative complications compared with surgical and other endovascular techniques, but studies investigating long-term outcomes after flow diversion warrant further study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e82-e101
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Blood blister aneurysm
  • Endovascular treatment
  • Flow-diverting stents
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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