Evaluating Imaging Follow-Up Strategies and Costs of Unruptured Intracranial Aneurysms Treated with Endovascular Techniques: A Survey of Academic Neurovascular Centers in the United States.
Unruptured intracranial aneurysms (UIAs) are being detected and treated with endovascular techniques at an increasing rate, with little evidence on the optimal imaging follow-up protocol. We performed a survey of academic neurovascular centers in the United States to assess imaging follow-up strategies and costs after endovascular treatment of UIAs.
An online survey on 5-year follow-up strategies of UIAs treated with endovascular techniques was distributed to neurovascular directors of 101 academic neurovascular centers using the American Association of Neurological Surgeons/Congress of Neurological Surgeons Joint Cerebrovascular Section database. An online healthcare marketplace, NewChoiceHealth, was used to calculate costs.
Of 33 (32.7%) institutions that responded to the survey, 26 (25.7%) provided data suitable for analysis. Nine (34.6%), 10 (38.5%), 4 (15.4%), and 3 (11.5%) centers were located in the northeastern, southern, midwestern, and western regions of the United States. Total costs of 5-year follow-up imaging after primary coil embolization and stent-assisted coiling procedures were $3391-$32,882. Costs for aneurysms treated with flow diversion were $2788-$46,670. Eighteen (69.2%) institutions performed cerebral angiography at 6-month follow-up after coil embolization and stent-assisted coiling, and 19 (73.1%) institutions performed cerebral angiography 6 months after flow diversion. Of institutions, 20% affirmed that they maintained an identical imaging follow-up regimen after treatment of ruptured aneurysms.
There is significant heterogeneity in imaging follow-up strategies and their associated costs. Stratification of patients by risk of recanalization and corresponding adjustment of follow-up imaging may be 1 strategy to limit unnecessary imaging and control costs.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Costs; Endovascular treatment; Follow-up imaging; Unruptured intracranial aneurysms