Intracranial aneurysms in infants and children.
BACKGROUND: The diagnosis and imaging of pediatric aneurysms has changed since the advent of MR and MRA. OBJECTIVE: To update the literature on pediatric aneurysms and better define the appropriate work-up of childhood aneurysms in 1997. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Retrospective review of 21 children (12 boys, 9 girls) with 25 aneurysms from three institutions over a 20-year period was performed. Imaging studies were mixed and included CT (19 patients), MR (11 patients), MRA (6 patients) and angiography (18 patients). RESULTS: Eighteen of 25 aneurysms were congenital saccular, 6 were mycotic, and 1 was post-traumatic. Of these, 44 % were in the posterior circulation. Nine aneurysms arose from distal arterial branches. Forty percent were large (between 1-2.5 cm) and 16 % were giant (> 2.5 cm). CT and MR showed hemorrhage, and frequently revealed the aneurysms as a focal mass with or without enhancement and flow void. Six children had MRA which revealed aneurysms in four patients. All patients with MRA had corresponding conventional angiography. CONCLUSION: Characteristics of pediatric aneurysms include diversity of type, increased incidence in the posterior fossa, peripheral location, and large size. CT, MR and MRA are useful in the diagnosis with conventional angiography essential for preoperative planning.