Clinical Research|Articles in Press

No Sex Differences in the Prevalence of Intracranial Aneurysms in Patients with Ascending Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms: A Multi-Center Experience

Published:February 09, 2023DOI:


      Previous studies suggest a coprevalence of intracranial aneurysms (IA) in patients with infrarenal abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA). We reviewed our multicenter experience in the detection/treatment of IAs in patients with ascending thoracic aortic aneurysms (ATAA) relative to patients without ATAA.


      Surgical cases of ATAA repaired at 3 sites from January 1998 to December 2018 were retrospectively reviewed. Out of these patients, those with intracranial vascular imaging were selected for our study, and these individuals were concurrently randomly matched with a control group of patients who underwent intracranial vascular imaging without an ATAA in a 1:1 ratio by age, sex, smoking history, and year of intracranial vascular imaging. Conditional logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (OR).


      We reviewed 2176 ATAA repairs. 74% (n = 1,615) were men. Intracranial vascular imaging was available in 298 (13.7%) patients. Ninteen patients were found to have 22 IAs for a prevalence of 6.4%. Mean size of IA was 4.6 ± 3.3 mm; mean age at IA detection, 63.4 ± 12.1 years. IA was present on head imaging in 4.7% of male and 12.5% of female patients. Eleven (58%) patients were men. The OR of having IA in female versus male patients is 2.90, 95% confidence interval [CI] [1.08–7.50], P = 0.029. Time from IA diagnosis to ATAA repair was 1.7 ± 116.2 months. Two patients underwent treatment for IA, one ruptured and one unruptured. All were diagnosed before ATAA repair. Treatment included 1 clipping and 1 coiling with subsequent reintervention of the coiling using a flow diversion device. In the matched group of patients who had intracranial vascular imaging without ATAA, the rate of IA is 5.0%. IA was detected in 3.8% of males and 9.4% of female patients for an OR of 2.59, 95% CI [0.84–7.47], P = 0.083. Association within our study and matched groups, the OR of developing an IA with and without ATAA was not statistically significant 1.29, 95% CI [0.642.59], P = 0.48. There was also no evidence of sex differences in the association of ATAA with IA (interaction P = 0.88). The OR for the association of ATAA with IA was 1.33, 95% CI [0.46–3.84], P = 0.59 in females and 1.25, 95% CI [0.49–3.17], P = 0.64 in males.


      Our study found that IA was present in 6.4% of patients with ATAA who had intracranial vascular imaging available. The odds of IA were 1.29 times higher than a matched cohort of patients who had intracranial vascular imaging without ATAA but this failed to achieve statistical significance. We found that the odds of IA were more than 2 times higher in females than males for both those with ATAA (OR = 2.90) and those without ATAA (OR = 2.59); however, it only reached statistical significance in those with ATAA.
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