Management of unruptured intracranial aneurysms in older adults: A cost-effectiveness analysis

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© RSNA, 2019. Background: Unruptured intracranial aneurysms (UIAs) are relatively common and are being increasingly diagnosed, with a significant proportion in older patients (. 65 years old). Serial imaging is often performed to assess change in size or morphology of UIAs since growing aneurysms are known to be at high risk for rupture. However, the frequency and duration of surveillance imaging have not been established. Purpose: To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of routine treatment (aneurysm coil placement ) versus four different strategies for imaging surveillance of UIAs in adults older than 65 years. Materials and Methods: A Markov decision-analytic model was constructed from a societal perspective. Age-dependent input parameters were obtained from published literature. Analysis included adults older than 65 years, with incidental detection of UIA and no prior history of subarachnoid hemorrhage. Five different management strategies for UIAs in older adults were evaluated: (a) annual MR angiography, (b) biennial MR angiography, (c) MR angiography every 5 years, (d) coil placement and follow-up, and (e) limited MR angiography follow-up for the first 2 years after detection only. Outcomes were assessed in terms of quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs). Probabilistic, one-way, and two-way sensitivity analyses were performed. Results: Imaging follow-up for the first 2 years after detection is the most cost-effective strategy (cost = $24 572, effectiveness = 13.73 QALYs), showing the lowest cost and highest effectiveness. The conclusion remains robust in probabilistic and one-way sensitivity analyses. Time-limited imaging follow-up remains the optimal strategy when the annual growth rate and rupture risk of growing aneurysms are varied. If annual rupture risk of nongrowing aneurysms is greater than 7.1%, coil placement should be performed directly. Conclusion: Routine preventive treatment or periodic, indefinite imaging follow-up is not a cost-effective strategy in all adults older than 65 years with unruptured intracranial aneurysms. More aggressive management strategies should be reserved for patients with high risk of rupture, such as those with aneurysms larger than 7 mm and those with aneurysms in the posterior circulation.

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411 - 417

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School of Medicine

Primary Department






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