Update: Unruptured intracranial aneurysm treatment score

Unruptured intracranial aneurysm treatment score

Etminan et al. endeavored to develop an unruptured intracranial aneurysm treatment score (UIATS) model that includes and quantifies key factors involved in clinical decision-making in the management of UIAs and to assess agreement for this model among specialists in Unruptured intracranial aneurysm (UIA) management and research.

An international multidisciplinary (neurosurgery, neuroradiology, neurology, clinical epidemiology) group of 69 specialists was convened to develop and validate the UIATS model using a Delphi consensus. For internal (39 panel members involved in identification of relevant features) and external validation (30 independent external reviewers), 30 selected UIA cases were used to analyze agreement with UIATS management recommendations based on a 5-point Likert scale (5 indicating strong agreement). Interrater agreement (IRA) was assessed with standardized coefficients of dispersion (vr*) (vr* = 0 indicating excellent agreement and vr* = 1 indicating poor agreement).

The UIATS accounts for 29 key factors in UIA management. Agreement with UIATS (mean Likert scores) was 4.2 (95% confidence interval [CI] 4.1-4.3) per reviewer for both reviewer cohorts; agreement per case was 4.3 (95% CI 4.1-4.4) for panel members and 4.5 (95% CI 4.3-4.6) for external reviewers (p = 0.017). Mean Likert scores were 4.2 (95% CI 4.1-4.3) for interventional reviewers (n = 56) and 4.1 (95% CI 3.9-4.4) for noninterventional reviewers (n = 12) (p = 0.290). Overall IRA (vr*) for both cohorts was 0.026 (95% CI 0.019-0.033).

This novel UIA decision guidance study captures an excellent consensus among highly informed individuals on UIA management, irrespective of their underlying specialty. Clinicians can use the UIATS as a comprehensive mechanism for indicating how a large group of specialists might manage an individual patient with a UIA 1) 

The purpose of the study of Ravindra et al. was to compare the unruptured intracranial aneurysm treatment score (UIATS) recommendations with the real-world experience in a quaternary academic medical center with a high volume of patients with unruptured intracranial aneurysms (UIAs).

All patients with UIAs evaluated during a 3-year period were included. All factors included in the UIATS were abstracted, and patients were scored using the UIATS. Patients were categorized in a contingency table assessing UIATS recommendation versus real-world treatment decision. The authors calculated the percentage of misclassification, sensitivity, specificity, and area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve. RESULTS A total of 221 consecutive patients with UIAs met the inclusion criteria: 69 (31%) patients underwent treatment and 152 (69%) did not. Fifty-nine (27%) patients had a UIATS between -2 and 2, which does not offer a treatment recommendation, leaving 162 (73%) patients with a UIATS treatment recommendation. The UIATS was significantly associated with treatment (p < 0.001); however, the sensitivity, specificity, and percentage of misclassification were 49%, 80%, and 28%, respectively. Notably, 51% of patients for whom treatment would be recommended by the UIATS did not undergo treatment in the real-world cohort and 20% of patients for whom conservative management would be recommended by UIATS had intervention. The area under the ROC curve was 0.646.

Compared with the authors’ experience, the UIATS recommended overtreatment of UIAs. Although the UIATS could be used as a screening tool, individualized treatment recommendations based on consultation with a cerebrovascular specialist are necessary. Further validation with longitudinal data on rupture rates of UIAs is needed before widespread use 2).


Etminan N, Brown RD Jr, Beseoglu K, Juvela S, Raymond J, Morita A, Torner JC, Derdeyn CP, Raabe A, Mocco J, Korja M, Abdulazim A, Amin-Hanjani S, Al-Shahi Salman R, Barrow DL, Bederson J, Bonafe A, Dumont AS, Fiorella DJ, Gruber A, Hankey GJ, Hasan DM, Hoh BL, Jabbour P, Kasuya H, Kelly ME, Kirkpatrick PJ, Knuckey N, Koivisto T, Krings T, Lawton MT, Marotta TR, Mayer SA, Mee E, Pereira VM, Molyneux A, Morgan MK, Mori K, Murayama Y, Nagahiro S, Nakayama N, Niemelä M, Ogilvy CS, Pierot L, Rabinstein AA, Roos YB, Rinne J, Rosenwasser RH, Ronkainen A, Schaller K, Seifert V, Solomon RA, Spears J, Steiger HJ, Vergouwen MD, Wanke I, Wermer MJ, Wong GK, Wong JH, Zipfel GJ, Connolly ES Jr, Steinmetz H, Lanzino G, Pasqualin A, Rüfenacht D, Vajkoczy P, McDougall C, Hänggi D, LeRoux P, Rinkel GJ, Macdonald RL. The unruptured intracranial aneurysm treatment score: a multidisciplinary consensus. Neurology. 2015 Sep 8;85(10):881-9. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000001891. Epub 2015 Aug 14. PubMed PMID: 26276380; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4560059.

Ravindra VM, de Havenon A, Gooldy TC, Scoville J, Guan J, Couldwell WT, Taussky P, MacDonald JD, Schmidt RH, Park MS. Validation of the unruptured intracranial aneurysm treatment score: comparison with real-world cerebrovascular practice. J Neurosurg. 2017 Oct 6:1-7. doi: 10.3171/2017.4.JNS17548. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28984518.

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