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Angiographic results of surgical or endovascular treatment of intracranial aneurysms: a systematic review and inter‑observer reliability study

Posted by Dr. David Volders, submitted by K Whitehouse on February 24, 2021 in Neuroradiology
Intracranial aneurysms
Intracranial aneurysms

Publication by Dr. David Volders.

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Results of surgical or endovascular treatment of intracranial aneurysms are often assessed using angiography. A reliable method to report results irrespective of treatment modality is needed to enable comparisons. Our goals were to systematically review existing classification systems, and to propose a 3-point classification applicable to both treatments and assess its reliability.


We conducted two systematic reviews on classification systems of angiographic results after clipping or coiling to select a simple 3-category scale that could apply to both treatments. We then circulated an electronic portfolio of angiograms of clipped (n=30) or coiled (n=30) aneurysms, and asked raters to evaluate the degree of occlusion using this scale. Raters were also asked to choose an appropriate follow-up management for each patient based on the degree of occlusion. Agreement was assessed using Krippendorff’s α statistics (αK), and relationship between occlusion grade and clinical management was analyzed using Fisher’s exact and Cramer’s V tests.


The systematic reviews found 70 different grading scales with heterogeneous reliability (kappa values from 0.12 to 1.00). The 60-patient portfolio was independently evaluated by 19 raters of diverse backgrounds (neurosurgery, radiology, and neurology) and experience. There was substantial agreement (αK=0.76, 95%CI, 0.67–0.83) between raters, regardless of background, experience, or treatment used. Intra-rater agreement ranged from moderate to almost perfect. A strong relationship was found between angiographic grades and management decisions (Cramer’s V: 0.80±0.12).


A simple 3-point scale demonstrated sufficient reliability to be used in reporting aneurysm treatments or in evaluating treatment results in comparative randomized trials.


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