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Intracranial aneurysms (IA) are a relatively frequent vascular abnormality. The prevailing opinion is that cerebral aneurysmal disease is related to hemodynamic and genetic factors, associated with structural weakness in the arterial wall which was acquired by a specific, often unknown, event. Possibly the trigger moment of aneurysm formation may depend on the dynamic arterial growth, which is closely related to aging/atherosclerosis. In most individuals, an endovascular/microsurgical approach is possible in order to obliterate the IA. However, in a number of patients with an unruptured IA (UIA), the neurosurgeon's decision is to just "sit back, observe, and wait", based on the favorable natural history of some of the UIAs. Furthermore, some individuals need to be kept under close observation since they have a higher chance of developing IA, especially those with at least two affected first-degree relatives with an IA, subjects with polycystic kidney disease, and patients who have undergone an aneurysm intervention. In these examples prophylactic strategies should be adopted, if it is at all possible. The main question is deciding the best option of clinical treatment for these cases, when surgical approach is contraindicated, or for those subjects who are more prone to develop an IA. In the present article, we hypothetically suggest a pharmacologic form of treatment with statins, beta-adrenergic blocker agents, and/or angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitor/angiotensin II receptor blockers to inhibit or slow down IA formation, taking into consideration some pathophysiological aspects related to aneurysmal development, such as: hemodynamic stress, arterial wall inflammation, nitric oxide formation, and atheromatous disease.


Marcelo M Valença. Sit back, observe, and wait." Or is there a pharmacologic preventive treatment for cerebral aneurysms? Neurosurgical review. 2013 Jan;36(1):1-9; discussion 9-10

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PMID: 23070279

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